Tigers tamed by rampant Rockets
RYE House Rockets took the points against Glasgow Tigers in a real battle of two injury-affected sides on Sunday.Although far more competitive than the final score might suggest, the Silver Ski Rockets ultimately pulled clear to see off their Scottish opposition 56-37.
RYE House Rockets took the points against Glasgow Tigers in a real battle of two injury-affected sides on Sunday.
Although far more competitive than the final score might suggest, the Silver Ski Rockets ultimately pulled clear to see off their Scottish opposition 56-37.
Still missing Robert Mear, the Rockets called on Jason Lyons for a final guest appearance ahead of the new averages, and the newly-crowned Premier League Best Pairs Champion signed off with a paid 12 haul.
It was also a strong afternoon for Linus Sundstrom, who rattled up paid 13 and would have had more but for a fall when leading his final race, and reserves Luke Bowen and Andrew Silver.
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The Harlow-based flyer scorched to paid 12 in what was his final appearance before moving into a top five place, while Silver celebrated his 100th career competitive appearance for Rye with three race wins.
Already missing Ross Brady (broken wrist) and Josh Grajczonek (broken ankle), not to mention the previously injured Anders Andersen and Peter Juul, the Tigers had a late search for guest coverage for Shane Parker, who was badly bruised in the Best Pairs on Friday.
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They chose wisely in Tomas Topinka, as the King's Lynn star rattled up paid 11 to provide support for the excellent James Grieves (14).
The pair was jointly responsible for 24 of Glasgow's 37 points, although reserves Lee Dicken and Mitchell Davey surely deserved more for their efforts than the paid seven they received.
Perhaps the biggest talking point of the match came from a truly bizarre heat five, which saw Davey and Linus Sundstrom fall in what were deemed to be separate first bend incidents.
Despite Sundstrom's continued presence on the circuit, the red stoppage lights never came on, although remaining riders Chris Neath and Tomas Topinka chose to retire from the race - technically leaving an empty field!
Referee Paul Carrington decided the only fair verdict was a re-run with all four riders, which was duly won by original leader Topinka.
With the score at 21-15 in Rye's favour, the match effectively turned on heats seven and eight which both produced Rockets 5-1s.
Sundstrom won the former race from the front, and was joined there by Bowen who supplied a tremendous fourth-to-first display to get past both Brent Werner and Rusty Harrison.
Tommy Allen and Andrew Silver quickly repeated that result against Lee Dicken and Mitchell Davey.
Although the meeting was now out of the Tigers' reach at 31-17, there was still time for several dramatic moments in the remaining races.
Bowen and Sundstrom both came from the back to overhaul the previously unbeaten Topinka in heat 11, while the next race saw Silver - who had earlier produced a last-to-first performance in heat two - go from third to first against Dicken and Harrison.
Also memorable was a twin pincer movement from Sundstrom and Lyons to pass either side of Topinka in heat 13.
Although the Czech battled to recover the lost ground, he was unable to catch the Rye pair, who completed what was the fifth of six Rockets 5-1s across the match.