ROCKETS EDGED OUT IN THRILLER
Saturday August 12, 2017
The BMR Rockets picked up a fifth away match point in the space of three days in a thrilling 46-44 defeat at Leicester, but could possibly have left the Midlands with even more.

A topsy-turvy encounter saw the Rockets battle back from the Lions’ opening salvo of consecutive 5-1s to take the lead themselves, and then trade punches with the home side over the closing stages.

Ultimately, it came down to the nominated race, with the Rockets trailing 43-41, and with Scott Nicholls and Chris Harris pitted against Danny King and Josh Bates. When Bates tumbled on the fourth bend, he appeared to some observers to be the cause of his own downfall – but it was Harris’ exclusion light that came on for catching Bates with his rear wheel. With Bomber’s disqualification, the Rockets’ hopes of grabbing a last-gasp victory departed with him. Nicholls won the re-run, but the resulting 3-3 left the Hertfordshire club tantalisingly short of achieving their quest for a second straight away victory.

Rye House Team Manager Peter Schroeck admitted mixed emotions afterwards. “It was a tough decision to go against us in Heat 15. We didn’t feel that Bomber (Chris Harris) had done anything wrong; he simply rode his own line, but it would seem he was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

“But we should also be realistic about things. A few weeks ago, we would have been very pleased to get a point here – and if you had offered us five points beforehand from our two matches this week, we would have taken them.

“Scotty (Nicholls) was flying tonight, and Robbo (Stuart Robson), Chris and Krzysztof (Kasprzak) are riding really well. Tomas (Jonasson) tried really hard as our guest, but it wasn’t his night, and you would think that with Ricky (Wells) and Ben (Barker) in the side this evening, we would have won.

“But we are still in there fighting, and an away point is an away point.”

“Fighting” was certainly the operative word at Beaumont Park, as the Rockets charged back from the early blow of conceding 5-1s in both of the opening two races and that left them on the wrong end of a 10-2 deficit. Stuart Robson and Scott Nicholls steadied the ship by taking the next two heats, and Chris Harris made it three in a row for Rye by winning Heat 5, with guest Tomas H. Jonasson – substituting for the SGB Championship committed Ricky Wells – appearing set to join him for maximum points until drifting wide and allowing Josh Bates to slip inside him.

A Rockets 5-1 finally DID materialise in Heat 6, however, courtesy of Krzysztof Kasprzak and Nicholls, with 2016 Rocket Cameron Heeps falling on the last lap when pushing Nicholls for second spot. That brought the score back to 19-17 – and Rye took the lead with another 5-1 three races later, this time from Nicholls and Robson when pitted against Leicester guest Rory Schlein and Heeps.

The Rockets’ advantage proved short-lived, however, as the Lions immediately hit back with a maximum of their own, before the two sides traded further 5-1s in Heat 13 (via Nicholls and Harris) and 14 to set up that controversial last race decider.

The Rockets’ narrow defeat leaves them in sixth place in the Premiership table on 26 points, with 19 of their 28 matches completed. They sit 5 points behind fourth placed Poole (21 matches) and 2 behind Somerset, who hold fifth spot on 28 points from 19 matches.

BMR Rockets:
Scott Nicholls 15+2, Stuart Robson 11+1, Krzysztof Kasprzak 7+1, Chris Harris 6+1, Tomas H Jonasson 4, Ben Morley 1+1, Ben Barker R/R.

Leicester:
Josh Bates 13+2, Danny King 11+2, Michael Palm Toft 7+1, Kyle Newman 7+1, Rory Schlein 4+1, Cameron Heeps 4+1, Lasse Bjerre R/R.

Match Points: Leicester 3 Rye House 1

Next up for Rye: a home cruncher against Belle Vue this coming Wednesday (August 16th, at 7.30) as they take on the side currently second in the table and which edged them in Hertfordshire earlier in the season.

Says Schroeck, “We will be back to fielding a full team – and that is the key thing. It is never ideal to use guests or Rider-Replacement, but from here on in we will be fielding our full declared seven.

“The boys know what they have to do, and that they’ve got no choice. Dropping any more points at home is not an option.

“But they are also full of confidence. We are still up there battling for the Play-Offs, and with the line-up we’ve got, we are still capable of picking up more away points elsewhere.

“But the immediate priority is bagging all three on Wednesday.”

BMR Rockets:
Ben Barker, Chris Harris, Krzysztof Kasprzak, Ben Morley, Scott Nicholls (captain), Stuart Robson, Ricky Wells

Belle Vue:
Dan Bewley, Kenneth Bjerre, Craig Cook (captain), Max Fricke R/R, Jack Smith, Rohan Tungate (if fit), Steve Worrall

Wednesday’s admission at Rye House: Adults £18, Seniors (over 60s) £16, Full-Time Students (17-22) £10, Children (12-16) £6. Children (under 12) free. Match Programme £2.00.

As an added bonus, Wednesday’s meeting will also include six Youth races across 250cc and 150cc classifications.