Plymouth 54 Mildenhall 36
The Plymouth Devils take an 18point lead to Suffolk on Sunday afternoon for the 2nd leg of the National Trophy final after their54-36 victory over the Mildenhall Fen Tigers. But it was a win at a cost with top rider Adam Roynon crashing out in heat 1 but bravely and amazingly riding on through the pain barrier.
Unfortunately the Devils No.1 ‘s season looks over with a broken collarbone with previous injury metalwork bent in the crash. Acting as Captain in place of injured skipper Benji Compton he battled on somehow through the pain barrier winning three races before being excluded for breaking the tapes in his last ride and being handicapped 15 metres.
16 year old whiz kid Henry Atkins belied his tender age being the star of the show dropping just one point in his six rides with 17 massive points. Back in the main body of the team after a month at reserve the teenager was totally awesome.
Rider Replacement to cover missing skipper Benji Compton never dropped a point to the opposition so in effect produced a “paid” maximum as the team covered for their missing man as if on a mission.
Guest Liam Carr scored solidly with 12 + 1 whilst Richard Andrews chipped in a valuable 7+2 and Callum Walker a vital 7+3 from the reserve berth as the side kept adding to the scoreline.
For the 2nd leg Eastbourne’s Josh Bailey steps in as the guest replacement for Steve Boxall at No. 5 whilst rider-replacement for skipper Benji Compton is again utilised at No. 3 . Adam Roynon is replaced by guest Ben Morley for the patched up Devils side. At reserve the Devils bring in 15 year old Jason Edwards , whose debut in the National League play-off semi-finals for Lakeside saw the talented teenager notch a paid 10 return including heat win in his first ever official ride. The youngster is well known to Devils team boss Laurence Rogers who has worked with him at training schools at Peterborough.
Mildenhall welcome back No. 1 Connor Mountain from injury whilst using Kent’s Anders Rowe as a guest in place of Luke Ruddick with British 500c youth champion Drew Kemp at reserve.
Team boss Laurence Rogers was rightly proud of his charges, “ They all put in so much effort to give us a good lead to take to Suffolk for Sunday. How Adam Roynon continued after his bizarre heat one crash I do not know. I have full admiration and respect for him. It was a scene that looked scary as he hit the fence going out of the last turn, came off his bike and slide on the bike across the finishing line before being hit by Matt Bates as he was on the ground. He knew he had damaged the collarbone but just kept going. “
“Henry was totally awesome with some top class riding and it is hard to think that he is just 16 . All the team were superb so it’s down to our patched up depleted Devils to secure victory on Sunday overall and bring the National Trophy title to the St Boniface Arena. I just can’t believe though that all three of our heat leaders are injured !”
NATIONAL TROPHY FINAL, 1st leg
PLYMOUTH 54: Henry Atkins 17, Liam Carr 12+1, Adam Roynon 9, Callum Walker 7+3, Richard Andrews 7+2, William O’Keefe 2+2, Benji Compton r/r
MILDENHALL 36: Drew Kemp 11+2, Jon Armstrong 11, Jordan Jenkins 8+1, Matt Bates 3+1, Alex Spooner 2, Danno Verge 1, Dan Halsey r/r
SUNDAY’S TEAMS :
1. Connor Mountain 9.08 2. R/R Danny Halsey 7.51 3. Jordan Jenkins 7.51 4. Anders Rowe (g) 5.13 5. Jon Armstrong 6.70 6. Danno Verge 4.72 7. Drew Kemp (g) 3.00
1. Ben Morley (g) 9.67 2. Richard Andrews 4.20 3. R/R Benji Compton 6.34 4. Henry Atkins 4.56 5. Josh Bailey (g) 9.38 6. Jason Edwards 3.00 (g) 7. Callum Walker 3.95