Aspgren strikes against Lions

Rye House 48 Leicester 45

A magnificent paid 18 haul from Pontus Aspgren proved decisive in tipping the balance in favour of the Silver Ski Rockets in an exciting match against powerful Leicester.

The 22 year old Swede was given a full quota of seven rides, and responded with four full or paid wins before understandably tiring towards the end of the evening.

The white-hot reserve was given excellent support from the ever-dependable Jason Bunyan (8+1), while Ben Morley did everything that could possibly be asked at him when pitched into the main body of the team as guest cover for the still sidelined Jason Garrity. The 19 year old powered to paid 6 from 3 outings, before team manager John Sampford leaned towards reserve Aspgren for his final programmed ride.

It proved a more difficult evening for the returning Olly Allen, whose first match back from a broken forearm opened with a third bend fall while leading Heat 1. The Rye House No.1 soldiered on, although in discomfort in between races in the pits, and finally succeeded with a victory in Heat 10.

Fellow returnee Tyson Nelson – back from a broken bone in his hand – enjoyed a much stronger night after bouncing back from the indignity of a broken throttle cable while leading his first ride.

The Rockets gradually built up a 35-25 advantage by Heat 10, only for Leicester guest Thomas Jorgensen’s six point Tactical win in the next race to bring the Lions right back into contention at 37-32. That heat proved a bizarre one, as Mellgren fell while holding the lead, and Jan Graversen subsequently slowed for a red flag that was inadvertently produced without an accompanying red stoppage light.

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Ultimately, the Rockets clinched the victory with a race to spare, but a 4-2 from Magnus Karlsson and Kevin Doolan in the finale ensured the Midlanders of an away match point to send their large army of travelling supporters home happy. Both riders were excellent, with Doolan’s racing skill to keep Anders Mellgren behind him in a cat-and-mouse Heat 7 the racing highlight of the night. Jorgensen proved a shrewd choice of guest, producing his best ever display at Hoddesdon, as the trio delivered the bulk of the Lions’ points.

At the other end of the scale, Leicester reserve Alex Edberg clearly struggled on his racing return from a broken hand and collarbone, failing to complete two of his rides, and was signed out of the meeting after his third outing.

Rye House scorers:

Olly Allen 5 (4 rides)

Jason Bunyan 8+1 (5)

Tyson Nelson 6+1 (4)

Ben Morley (guest) 5+1 (3)

Anders Mellgren 5 (4)

Kasper Lykke 4+1 (3)

Pontus Aspgren 15+3 (7)

Leicester scorers:

Thomas Jorgensen (guest) 12+1 (4 rides, inc 6 as a TR)

Jan Graversen 6 (4)

Kauko Nieminen 4 (4)

Kevin Doolan 10 (5)

Magnus Karlsson 12 (5)

James Sarjeant 1 (5)

Alex Edberg 0 (3)

Match Points: Rye House 2 Leicester 1

Meanwhile Rye House promoter Len Silver was in a very positive mood when addressing supporters on the mike during the pre-match parade on Saturday night, and for good reason.

As he explained to them, “I spoke to Jason Garrity this morning, and he said that for the first time since his accident his leg has stopped hurting. He has reported to me that he will be back in the side next week.”

The G-Force’s imminent return from the broken leg he suffered at Sheffield on May 16th isn’t the only positive news, as Silver continued. “What’s more…. Under the new averages, he will be coming back in at No.7!”

So, the Rockets look set to have an extra sting in the tail when they entertain East Anglian arch-rivals Ipswich on Saturday (August 17th @ 7pm)

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