Cobras see off Devils to finish fourth in National League
RYE House’s Cobras beat Plymouth Devils 55-37 in the National League on Saturday night.
The Kart Raceway Cobras rounded off their National League programme by taking all three match points against the Devils, to finish fourth in the final speedway table.
Given the Cobras’ run of injuries, plus the loss of four match points after Mildenhall’s withdrawal, and a further three after the ‘Nelsongate’ affair at Scunthorpe, that is not a bad achievement at all.
Despite the final scoreline, it was far from plain sailing against a Plymouth team that could have nabbed fourth place with a victory of their own.
They shocked the Cobras with a 5-1 in the opening race, and although Rye quickly levelled with a maximum of their own in the next heat, remained competitive until the second half of the match.
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Mark Simmonds and Nicki Glanz – both set to feature in next weekend’s NLRC – were in explosive form, and veteran Seemond Stephens added further stability.
Ultimately, though, a vulnerable tail and the absence of Matt Bates with a back injury proved their undoing against a Rye side that was solid throughout.
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NLRC-bound Kyle Hughes led the way for the Cobras, quickly putting a surprise opening race duck behind him to reel off five consecutive wins.
He also featured in the races of the night, coming from behind to pass Simmonds, Stephens and Glanz in heats six, 10 and 13 respectively.
The last of those was particularly thrilling, with Hughes finding the smallest of gaps between Glanz and the safety fence to drive past the Plymouth No 1 coming off the last bend of lap three.
NLRC competitor Joe Jacobs and Ben Morley both also blasted into double figures, with additional race wins coming from Lee Strudwick and reserve guest Jake Knight. Shane Hazelden plugged away throughout to score in all his rides.
The teams were level 12-12 at heat four, before three consecutive 4-2s pushed the Cobras clear and a 5-1 from Hughes and Morley in heat eight took the score to 29-19.
A six point tactical win from Simmonds in heat nine gave the Devils brief hopes of a comeback, but the home side provided five of the final six race winners, bagging four heat advantages in the process, to make sure of the match points.