THE BIG PREVIEW: ROCKETS VS KING’S LYNN
Friday May 25, 2018
It will be no vacation for the “BP Mitchell” Rockets on Bank Holiday Monday when they renew close acquaintances with their A10 arch-rivals King’s Lynn in the SGB Premiership at Rye House (start time: 7.30pm).

Rye will be looking to maintain their local derby bragging rights over their Norfolk rivals, having bested the Stars in three of the two teams’ four encounters in 2017 and been squeezed out in the other despite a spectacular 15 point maximum from Chris Harris.

Lynn narrowly avoided involvement in the relegation play-off last year, but already look a rather different proposition this time around, having surprised their pre-season critics by posting an unblemished home record thus far, picked up match points from their trips to Leicester and defending champions Swindon, and collected a remarkable 47-43 victory at Belle Vue on Monday.

Grand Prix star Niels-Kristian Iversen will unfortunately miss Bank Holiday Monday’s encounter as he recuperates from a nagging shoulder problem, and with all eight Premiership clubs in action that day the Stars have had no recourse but to operate Rider-Replacement as cover.

They still pack plenty of ammo elsewhere, however, with Rye House track record holder – and brief 2015 Rocket - Robert Lambert already enjoying a year to remember. The 20 year old has already added to last term’s European U-19 and U-21 crowns by winning a second straight British U-21 title, representing his country in both the SEC and Grand Prix Qualifiers (where he placed fourth in his round) and being called up to the FIM’s forthcoming Speedway of Nations.

Ty Proctor is packing a hefty punch alongside him, as well as in the SGB Championship with Workington, while recent addition Michael Palm Toft certainly knows his way around Rye House as evidenced by his famous six ride maximum at the venue a few years ago.

Completing the Lynn roster are former Scunthorpe and Berwick mainstay Thomas Jorgensen, now-fourth season Star Lewis Kerr and Danish newcomer Kasper Andersen.

As noted above, the Stars have already turned more than a few heads in 2018, but the Rockets will be aiming to turn a bit faster on Monday as they aim to build on what has been a perfect home record to date. They have the added boost that Nikolaj Busk Jakobsen will return from a fortnight out with concussion to take his place back in the side.

Rye House Team Manager Peter Schroeck is relishing the prospect of his squad locking horns with their fiercest opponents once again. “Matches between the Rockets and King’s Lynn always seem to have that little something extra, whether it’s a natural rivalry or the atmosphere that the visiting fans bring with them to both venues.

“Either way, this one looks spicy!

“The Stars have got a more than decent team, and they’ve just done a bit of damage at Belle Vue, so they’ll be coming to our place on a high in terms of confidence.

“But we’re feeling confident too. We know we lost the Cup tie in the away leg at Swindon, but we are not worried at home, and we got a really good win against a strong Robins team when they came to us.

“Bomber (Chris Harris) had a great match on Wednesday – he was very quick and convincing – which will really get him back into the groove again, and as I’ve said before when we get our top five going we can be a match for anyone.

“We’ve also got NBJ back. He was due to ride at Ipswich (in the Championship) on Thursday, only for that to be called off, so he will certainly be good to go for us.

“It was great to see Max (Clegg) amongst the points on Wednesday. It’s been tough for him, and when you’re in that position you start to worry about next week. But between all of us, we’re giving him reassurance, telling him to stay relaxed and keep doing what he’s doing. You saw his response on Wednesday, and hopefully there will be more of the same on Monday.

“Plus, of course, we’ll have the BT Sport cameras there. We’ll all be raring to go, the weather forecast is good and the fans should be out in force. After all, it’s a chance for them to see themselves on TV and being beamed to a nationwide audience!”

Monday’s teams:

“BP Mitchell” Rockets:
Max Clegg, Chris Harris, Krzysztof Kasprzak, Nikolaj Busk Jakobsen , Edward Kennett, Scott Nicholls (captain), Aaron Summers,

King’s Lynn:
Kasper Andersen, Niels-Kristian Iversen R/R, Thomas Jorgensen, Lewis Kerr, Robert Lambert (captain), Ty Proctor, Michael Palm Toft

Admission:

Adults £18, Seniors (over 60s) £16, Registered Disabled £12 (Accompanying Carer £12), Full-Time Students (17-22) £6, Children (aged 12-16) £6, Children (under 12) FREE. Match programme: £2.

Please note that those seeking Student admission must provide a copy of their current student photo ID (issued by the NUS or their university/college) at the turnstiles.

Gates open at 5.30pm.