ROCKETS TRUMP ACES AS PLAY-OFF PUSH BUILDS
Wednesday August 16, 2017
The BMR Rockets’ SGB Premiership dream remains alive after they overcame high-flying Belle Vue 48-44 in tonight’s Hoddesdon cruncher.

The match swung back and forth between the two sides in the early stages, with the Rockets bouncing back from an opening race Aces’ 5-1 to level the score within four laps thanks to Krzystof Kasprzak and Ben Morley, and then rebounding from a second Belle Vue max-out to take the lead for the first time, at 16-14, as Ricky Wells and Stuart Robson outpaced Dan Bewley and Kenneth Bjerre in Heat 5.

Their advantage proved brief, however, as British Champion Craig Cook and Bewley kept Chris Harris at bay in the next race to put the Aces back in front at 19-17, before the Rockets re-took the lead again…. but this time to stay, as Kasprzak helped them to take firm control of the fixture with a real double whammy. The 2014 World No.2 combined with Rye captain Scott Nicholls to inflict Steve Worrall’s first defeat of the night in Heat 7 to push the Hertfordshire side back in front a7 22-20, and then re-emerged to partner Ben Barker to another 5-1 in the next race to build a 27-21 cushion.

A surreal Heat 10 saw Rye turn what initially seemed set to be a Belle Vue 5-1 into a 5-0 in their own favour, as both Adam Ellis and Steve Worrall fell in separate stagings to gift the points to Harris and Barker in a contest in which the chequered flag also fell a lap late!

Surreal or not, the ultimate outcome elevated the spread to 35-24, although Cook brought the Aces back into late contention by winning Heats 11 (when pitched for double points) and 13 (again, in a bizarre “5 lap” race!) as the score moved on to 43-37.

The Rockets finally clinched the victory, however, via an enthralling 4-2 from Kasprzak and Robson over Bewley in Heat 14, leaving Cook and Bjerre to salvage a consolation match point for the visitors by heading home the otherwise superb Nicholls and Kasprzak in the finale.

The Aces remain second in the table (45 points) and appear nailed on alongside leaders Swindon (47) and Wolverhampton (42) for the first three Play-Off places. With Poole holding off Wolverhampton 48-45 tonight, the Pirates continue to hold onto the vital fourth place position, with 34 points from their 22 fixtures. Somerset remain fifth (29 points from 20 matches), ahead of the Rockets on race points difference.

Rye have eight regular season meetings remaining to claw back their current five point deficit on the Pirates – and their next match comes a week tonight in another huge “eight pointer”…. at home against Somerset!

That is in the future, however. With regard to the immediate past, Rye House Team Manager Peter Schroeck summed up his view on the match: “It was a must-win situation for us, and the bottom line is that we got the three points we needed.

“Yes, it felt a little frustrating afterwards to let Belle Vue sneak away with a match point right at the end, but it doesn’t really affect our own situation in the table.

“The key thing is that we got the win over a side that a lot of folk have considered to be favourites for the title, and we’ve also gained a bit of revenge for the last time they were here.

“KK (Krzysztof Kasprzak) was on fire again tonight, and Scotty (Nicholls) was flying too. One or two of the boys, like Bomber (Chris Harris), had a few issues – but we’ll get those fixed - while the rest of the team popped in the points.

“As I said after we won at Poole and took a point home from Leicester last week, we’re still in there fighting.”

BMR Rockets:
Krzysztof Kasprzak 12+2, Scott Nicholls 11, Ricky Wells 8+1, Stuart Robson 5+1, Chris Harris 5, Ben Barker 4+2, Ben Morley 3+1.

Belle Vue:
Craig Cook 19+1 (inc 6 as a TR), Steve Worrall 8+1, Dan Bewley 6+2, Kenneth Bjerre 6+1, Adam Ellis (guest) 4, Jack Smith 1, Max Fricke R/R.

Match Points: Rye House 3 Belle Vue 1