Meeting Report – Kent Royals v Leicester Lion Cubs

It’s two matches and two wins in the National League for the Kent ‘Iwade Garage’ Royals, as they claimed a ten-point victory over 2019 League Champions Leicester Lion Cubs 50-40 this afternoon (15/5) at The Old Gun Site. It’s a victory that puts Kent into second place in the NDL table, as The Royals head to league leaders Berwick next Saturday (21/5).
An action-packed meeting was marred by an unfortunate injury to Leicester reserve Max Perry in Heat 2. Perry sustained a suspected shoulder injury after a nasty spill. The 15-year-old was holding a third place in the reserves race when he caught the back wheel of home reserve Chris Watts and went over the high side. That meant a busy afternoon for fellow reserve, former Kent Royal Vinnie Foord who took the full quota of seven rides.
For the Royals though it was the brilliance of heat leaders Alfie Bowtell and Ben Morley which led to the final margin of victory being so great. After heat 12 there were only two points between the sides with the hosts leading 37-35, but a final blast of heat advantages in the last trio of races started with a 5-1 from the brilliant Bowtell and Morley in Heat 13. A race that had to be re-run after Leicester’s Joe Thompson took a tumble on the second lap, as the Royals were sat on a 5-1. Joe was inevitably disqualified but the re-run turned out to be the one of the races of the season at The Old Gun Site. Bowtell gated and the Leicester number 1 Dan Thompson initially split the Kent duo. However, Morley stalked his prey like a lion toying with a gazelle to send his man wide going into lap three and then fire up his inside, down the back straight to give the hosts a maximum heat advantage to move the lead to six points. Heat 14 provided a fantastic moment of action as the sensational Joe Alcock missed the start but took to the outside line and passed Lion Cubs Tom Spencer for his third successive race win. Sam Woolley took the third place point and the 4-2 sealed victory for the hosts.
That, however, was just the warmup for the Final Act… Heat 15. Bowtell, Morley and Dan Thompson. What followed was a passing fest between Morley and Thompson, this time Thompson held on to take the second place.
The match started with Kent’s very own Alfie Bowtell once again breaking the track record that he set a fortnight ago. This time he took 0.4 of a second off, to set the new time at 57.1. It was another high scoring afternoon for second string Joe Alcock, he suffered a fall the first time out when he ran out of room heading into the third bend. He bounced back though with wins over both Dan and Joe Thompson – afterall, it’s only fair to treat twins equally! Leicester did play their part in a thrilling contest. Connor Coles took two brilliant heat wins in heats 3 and 12, and Dan Thompson took a heat win in Heat 11 which spoiled the maximum hopes of Ben Morley.
The NDL match was followed by a great display of the future of British Speedway in the British Youth Championship Round 1 which showcased the 250cc and 500cc. The 250cc class was dominated with a sublime display from Luke Harrison who was a class above his compatriots. The 500cc class saw a great scrap throughout between Sam McGurk and Jody Scott, both of whom won two heats in the qualifying heats each. It was down to the winner takes all final and it was Sam McGurk who took the spoils


Glenn Collins – Kent Royals Press Officer

Image courtesy of Geoff Young – Oddshots Speedway Photography