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]


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.

If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Welwyn Hatfield Times. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Related articles

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Welwyn Hatfield Times