🏁 Sunday speedway in Kent features Thurrock Hammers against Kent Royals in the Tunnel Trophy Challenge. Tapes-up is at 12 noon and tickets are available on the gate.
The waiting is over as after a gap of 546 days Thurrock Hammers take to the track for an invitational fixture against Kent Royals at their new Iwade base. The match is part of the Hammers campaign to return speedway to Thurrock and the Arena Essex Raceway, where up until September 2018 the sport had taken place for 35 consecutive seasons.
Featuring daredevils racing on bikes with 500cc engines, no brakes, just one gear and accelerating to 60mph faster than a Formula 1 car … if you’ve never watched speedway before now is the time to take a day trip to Kent to soak up the action at what is a great family-friendly day out! For more about the sport see this guide on the British Speedway website.
Technically, the Hammers go into today’s meeting as the current holders of the Trophy following a narrow 1-point win in 2019 against the Kent Kings in the last running of the fixture. The victorious Hammers team that day included Ben Morley, Alfie Bowtell and Danno Verge, and with those three riders now key members of the 2022 Royals the Hammers know they will be up against it this time around.
Welcoming some fresh faces into their speedway family, today’s riders for the Hammers are:
Riding at number 1, Redcar and Oxford’s rising star, Jordan Jenkins (ave 9.56), who despite being just 20, has been a top National Development League (NDL) heat leader for a couple of years now. Tom Spencer (5.53) has emerged as a very consistent performer with the Leicester Lion Cubs and 2022 looks likely to be a season of further development.
Two former graduates of the Hagon Shocks Academy which was housed at the old Lakeside track at the Arena Essex fill the engine room of the side – Nathan Ablitt (Belle Vue Colts and Poole Pirates 6.29) and Sam Hagon (Oxford 5.75) are riders that many Hammers fans have watched develop with enormous interest and it will be fascinating to watch them throughout the upcoming season.
The third rider in the team with substantial links to the old Lakeside promotion is the returning Jack Kingston (4.44) who is currently unattached, but his return to the shale today will probably be of interest to other National League clubs.
Hammers two 15-year-old reserves are two of the hardest working and exciting young riders on the scene – Ben Trigger (3.57) and Vinnie Foord (3.00) and their scrap for points will have fans on the edge of their seats at every meeting they contest.
GUEST OF HONOUR
The Hammers side are delighted to announce that their Honorary Club President and Hammers Legend Andrew Silver and his wife Mia will be their guests for the clash against The Royals.
Operations Director Russell Keetch stated: “Andrew has always been so supportive of our efforts to bring speedway back to Thurrock and has unconditionally offered his assistance to the cause and it is an honour to have both he and Mia joining us on Easter Sunday.
He will obviously be on hand for any advice to the team on the day and I’m sure his presence alone will give the team an extra boost.”
The Hammers are also pleased to announce the continued support and match day sponsorship of Clive Purdy, Managing Director of Devines Accountants Ltd and welcome him and his family as special guests for the meeting.
The Hammers riders will be sporting some new merchandise in the form of team hoodies for this meeting. They will be on show pre-meeting and upon the track walk as Hammers look to promote a positive team ethos in our venture to retain the Tunnel Trophy.
Keetch said introducing the new range: “These hoodies will be the first of a planned merchandise range going forward. They are of exceptional quality with embroidered logos rather than printed ones for longevity. Images and details of the hoodies will be released after the meeting with all proceeds from merchandise sales used to help fund Hammers meetings going forward.
Kent Royals: Alfie Bowtell, Jamie Halder, Danno Verge (captain), Joe Alcock, Ben Morley, Chris Watts, Sam Woolley
Thurrock Hammers: Jordan Jenkins (captain), Jack Kingston, Sam Hagon, Nathan Ablitt, Tom Spencer, Ben Trigger, Vinnie Foord
🗝️ Gates open at 10.30am.
🏁 Tapes-up at 12 noon.
🎟️ Tickets available on the gate priced: Adults £13/Concessions £10/Under 18s £5/Under 11s go free. Programmes are £2.
🚊🚗 Travel tips: Driving is recommended. Full directions here. Parking is available on-site. If you are a blue badge holder and require disabled parking, please email email@example.com to reserve a space.
Image credits: The Hammers give their thanks to Steve Hone, Mark Hall, Ian Charles, Kevin Whiting and Colin Poole for their fantastic imagery.