Newport defeat confirms Rockets’ Young Shield spot
AN injury-hit Rye House Rockets team lost 57-35 to Newport in speedway’s Premier League.
It will be the Young Shield rather than the promotion play-offs for the Silver Ski Rockets following Sunday’s defeat in Wales.
A place in the former competition was finally confirmed via this defeat against a rejuvenated Wasps side in the Rockets’ last Premier League match of the campaign.
Rye also look set to be without Paul Starke for the season-closing knock-out competition.
The 19-year-old was taken to hospital for X-rays on a suspected broken collarbone after being brought down by Todd Kurtz in heat two.
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With rider replacement already in operation, Starke’s injury left the Rockets to field only one rider in four of the heats.
As in the previous night’s victory over Glasgow, Chris Neath and guest Jason Lyons carried much of the load, although the Australian’s points proved heavily weighted by two late victories, including the heat 15 success that denied Kyle Legault a maximum.
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An additional race win from Jordan Frampton took Rye’s tally to five, but with their only heat advantage coming via a 6-3 off Neath’s tactical win in heat 12, this was a match with few positives for the Rockets.
The sole consolation is that with fifth place in the Premier League table at Sunday night’s qualification cut-off, Rye will have first choice of quarter-final opposition.
The seeding order is: Rye House, Workington, Berwick, Scunthorpe, King’s Lynn, Newport, Somerset and Stoke.