Rockets’ play-off hopes suffer a serious blow

PUBLISHED: 17:44 12 September 2010

Rockets captain Chris Neath in action at Rye House [Picture: Ian Bush]

Rockets captain Chris Neath in action at Rye House [Picture: Ian Bush]

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RYE House Rockets were stung 46-44 by Newport Wasps in the Premier League on Saturday night.

Rye House v Newport result

Rye House 44 Newport Wasps 46

Rye House scorers:

Linus Sundstrom 13+1 (5 rides)

Stefan Ekberg 7+1 (4)

Chris Neath 8+1 (5)

Robbie Kessler 2 (3)

Jordan Frampton 4 (4)

Paul Starke 3+1 (4)

Kyle Hughes 7+1 (5)

Newport scorers:

Leigh Lanham 6+2 (4 rides)

Kim Nilsson 9 (5)

Craig Watson 7 (4)

Kyle Legault 11+1 (5)

Robin Aspegren 5 (4)

Alex Davies 6+1 (5)

Todd Kurtz 2+1 (3)

Match points: Rye House 0 Newport 3

The Silver Ski Rockets’ hopes of a top four finish – and with it an involvement in the promotion play-offs rather than the Young Shield – took a nosedive as they fell to defeat against a resurgent Wasps outfit.

Some will point the finger at a controversial heat 11 exclusion for Chris Neath, who was judged guilty of bringing down Craig Watson when driving through for the lead as match-defining, but in fairness the Rockets lost this one in other areas.

A poor start left them always chasing the match, and it soon became clear that Jordan Frampton – despite winning his opening ride – lacked full match fitness in his first fixture back from seven weeks out with a knee injury.

The Rockets’ problems contrasted with a fired-up Wasps side that looked a radically proposition to the team humbled 67-25 at Hoddesdon in April’s Premier Trophy match.

Statistics tell a tale here. Five of Newport’s seven riders provided race wins, six enjoyed at least one paid win and the seventh – Robin Aspegren – looked smooth and solid on his first visit to the track.

The visitors started with a bang to quickly assemble a 13-5 advantage by heat three, and even after the Rockets had slowly reeled them in to briefly lead 31-29 at heat 10, the Welsh team had just enough in reserve to edge clear again.

Neath’s exclusion in heat 11 handed Watson and Alex Davies a 5-1 and an advantage they were able to defend over the remaining heats.

Kyle Legault’s victory in heat 14 ensured the visitors of at least a draw, although Rye came within an ace of rescuing a match point in the final race.

Swede Linus Sundstrom zipped home to complete a near perfect display, despite being dogged by tonsillitis, but captain Neath’s battling efforts against Legault and Kim Nilsson were ‘rewarded’ with a blown engine in the closing yards just as he was passing Nilsson but before he could get past Legault.


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