Kings v The Hammers – Preview

Tracking teams to represent the Hammers campaign to restore speedway to Essex has always been one of our founding principles and so being able to fulfil the fixture against the Kent Kings on Sunday has already achieved one of our main objectives. 

We are extremely grateful to The Kings’ Promoter Steve Ribbons and track owner Graham Arnold for the invitation to showcase our club and our campaign, which has now been going for over 5 years, at Iwade this Sunday for The Tunnel Trophy. 

Mark Sexton, The Hammers joint team manager, commented:

“The Tunnel Trophy has a long and proud heritage going back several decades and involving different clubs and we are determined to bring it back north of the Thames!”

The meeting will be a ‘Nora’ Challenge fixture run over 15 heats and will feature 6-man teams, and The Kings, who feature three former Hammers, represent a strong opposition though and will be tough to beat around their home track, especially following their confidence building win over the Eastbourne Eagles last month”

The Hammers have recruited the familiar face of the current Plymouth star, former Lakeside man and current Iwade (NL) track record holder Alfie Bowtell to lead the team and, in keeping with the ethos of the Nora league, have given five riders the opportunity to put themselves in the shop window. 

Elliot Kelly will be keen to show the Middlesbrough Tigers what they are missing and Luke Harris, who won a National League league title with Eastbourne, will be better off for the laps he put in for Cradley at Iwade last Sunday.

Connor King ‘retired’ over the winter but is a proven performer at this level and is definitely expecting to be competitive. 

“We are absolutely delighted to give Chris Laidlaw and Jamie Etherington the number 2 and 6 race jackets respectively,” added Sexton. 

Chris impressed the Hammers manager in the second half of last week’s meeting and replaces the unfortunate Rhys Laker, whilst Jamie Etherington,15, has practised many times at Iwade and finished 2nd in the Workington round of the GB youth championship last week. 

Arena Essex and England legend Andrew Silver will be joint team managing and his experience and expertise will be a huge benefit to the team – and just may prove to be the difference! 

We look forward to seeing lots of Hammers fans in attendance and thank you all for your support to date.

The action gets underway at The Old Gun Site, Iwade (Raspberry Hill Lane, ME9 8SP) on Sunday with the parade at 1.45pm and tapes up at 2pm. 


Please note all that on Sunday Junction 5 of the M2 is shut coast bound – so those coming from the direction of the M25/Dartford Bridge or from London have two options.

If using the M2 come off at Junction 4 signposted Hempstead Valley (they’ll be diversion signs along this route), go straight down the dual carriageway to the roundabout with the big Tesco’s on the right hand side; take the third exit onto the old A2 and after about five miles it brings you out to the roundabout above the A249 where the road dips take the sign for Sheppey and you’re back on the correct road.

The other option is to take the M20 instead, leave at junction 7 and join the A249 there (Detling Hill, going past the Kent Showground).

Admission (pay at the gate): 

Adults: £13

Concessions (pensioners, disabled, ‘Blue Light’ workers) £10

Accompanied children 15 years and under free.


Kent Kings:

Ben Morley, Sam Woods, Jack Kingston, Nathan Hargrave, Rhys Naylor, James Laker

Thurrock Hammers:

Alfie Bowtell, Chris Laidlaw, Luke Harris, Connor King, Elliot Kelly,  Jamie Etherington,


The Hammers are still offering sponsorship packages as detailed below, with all funds supporting  this meeting and our campaign to return Speedway to Thurrock. Please contact Mark Sexton on or call on 07951 698363 if you’d like to be part of the Hammers support team on Sunday

Golden Hammer Package: 

£75 per person to include free entry to the meeting, a match day programme and a photograph with the whole team PLUS the chance to view a race, or two, from the centre green

(Maximum of 10 individual packages available)

Silver Hammer Package: 

£50 per person to include free entry to the meeting, a match day programme and a photo with the team.

Bronze Hammer Package: 

£25 per person to include a match day programme and a photo with your favourite rider