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Kent Kings to take on Rye House Rockets with Kent-Herts Trophy up for grabs at Iwade

It’s Kent-Herts Trophy time at Iwade this Sunday when Kent Kings host Rye House Rockets (2pm).

And there’s an international feel to the Hertfordshire side with an Aussie and German in their line-up.

Kent Kings were last in action against Thurrock Hammers in May, losing 47-43 in the Tunnel Trophy. Picture: Niall Strudwick
Kent Kings were last in action against Thurrock Hammers in May, losing 47-43 in the Tunnel Trophy. Picture: Niall Strudwick

The antipodean is the exciting Dayle Wood from Wagga Wagga, who has the distinction of recording a full 18 points maximum on his previous visit to the Old Gun Site.

Joining him is a rider with second-tier experience from the late noughties, Henning Loof.

From Schleswig-Holstein but domiciled in the UK since his riding days with Somerset and Mildenhall, Loof has long been an admirer of the training set-up at Iwade and has chosen the venue for his first foray back into on-track action.

Another rider not seen for some time in shale action whilst pursuing a growing reputation in speedway’s sister sports of grasstrack and long track is Orpington-born former Eastbourne Eagle Charley Powell.

While Wood, Loof and Powell can only point to a handful of full seasons in British speedway between them, Rob Hollingworth has more league appearances on his racing CV than more or less anyone still in action.

At the remarkable age of 69, the rider from Lincolnshire has the distinction of being able to say he rode at Rye House in the Rockets’ very first league racing season in Hoddesdon back in 1974.

Completing the visitors’ line-up are former Kent King and twice GB Youth champion Nathan Ablitt and local rookie Chris Laidlaw.

The fixture is also a special one for Kings promoter Steve Ribbons, a long-standing Rockets fan and part of a campaign to get the club back at their Hoddesdon venue which staged the sport from 1934, on and off, until closure in 2018.

“We’ve had two great local derby scraps so far, both going to last-heat deciders showing that Kent Kings is the place to be for close and exciting action,” Ribbons said.

“I’m proud as punch to have the other team in my life, Rye House, forming the opposition on Sunday and with a strong and exciting line-up for the Rockets it looks like another thriller.

“With kids under-16 in for free there’s no better place to celebrate Father’s Day.”

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