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Kent Kings beat Isle of Wight Warriors to lift the National Trophy

By KentOnline reporter

Kent Kings are celebrating their first silverware after winning the National Trophy.

They beat Isle of Wight Warriors 54-35 at Central Park on Monday night to clinch the title.

Kings had missed their first chance after losing 48-42 in the away leg last Thursday and went into the return knowing defeat by six points or less would still be enough to triumph.

Kent Kings star Drew Kemp Picture: Geoff Young
Kent Kings star Drew Kemp Picture: Geoff Young

But Kent were determined to take the crown in style and pulled off an emphatic victory.

Team boss Chris Hunt said: “It was our intention to hit them hard from the start so there was no danger of the Warriors getting a foothold in the match.

"We’d seen what had happened on Thursday and this time it was our fast start which set us on the way and we never looked back."

Co-promoter Len Silver, who oversaw saw Kings' 2013 launch, said: "I have been running this club since we opened six-and-a-half years ago and this is the happiest moment.

"We have deserved to win silverware like this before and have got so close in finals and semi-finals but not quite done it.

"That’s behind us now because this squad of riders are winners and we have the Trophy to prove it.

"I’m very proud of everyone involved and love the lads, the fans and the club."

Leading from the front in the opening salvoes were number one Drew Kemp (13) and skipper Rob Ledwith (12+1) who both opened their account with three wins in their first three rides.

Nathan Ablitt (9+2) and Anders Rowe (11+1) joined in with the winning feeling as the halfway stage was reached with eight heat winners and a near-decisive lead of 21 points.

Georgie Wood ended Ledwith's hopes of a first-ever full house but Kings made certain of victory in heat 11 and pushed on with the ever-lively Richard Andrews (7+2) winning heat 14.

Skipper Ledwith said: "If anyone had said to me six months ago that after nearly 25 years out of the speedway saddle I’d be captaining a team to a victory like this I’d never have believed them.

"This is such a fantastic club and I’m so proud of all my team-mates.

"We’ve had a couple of casualties (Dan Gilkes and Alex Spooner suffering injuries) along the way but have kept going as a unit and got what we have thoroughly deserved.

“With Dan and Alex both here today to share the triumph with the rest of us, including Jacob (Clouting) who has stood in so ably, we will soon have our full squad back on track and when we do we have a great chance, I think, of adding the National League to this NT victory."

Kent start their National League campaign at home to newcomers Leicester Lion Cubs at Central Park on Monday (6.30pm).

Read more: The latest sports news in Kent

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