It was a case of 1979 all over again at West Row last Sunday when Rye House supreme Len Silver was up to his old tricks. They don't call him Leaping Len for nothing and despite the fact that he is now old enough to be drawing his pension, the Elmside Raiders promoter was hopping mad at a refereeing decision which threatened his side's ultimate victory in the Conference League Fours Championship.

Back in the late '70s it was a bizarre refereeing decision which denied Rye House of the old National League title when Karl Fiala was excluded in a win or bust last heat decider which handed the championship to the Fen Tigers. And it was a case of d?j? vu all over again for Silver when Joel Parsons was excluded in heat six of the Fours when he appeared to be knocked off by the also excluded Fen Tiger James Brundle.

On both occasions Silver threatened to withdraw his team from the event following the decisions only pacified this time around when he was offered the opportunity to take the centregreen microphone and state his case to the gathered Rye House fans.

His outburst was rewarded by a ?100 fine from the man in charge Chris Gay and has also been condemned this week by some members of the crowd who have hit out at him via the internet. But this week Silver was unrepentant.

He said: "In my opinion that was ?100 well spent. It was a bizarre refereeing decision as Parsons was leading and fell when Brundle went into the back of him. Everyone came up to me after the meeting, Rye House, Boston, Peterborough and even Mildenhall fans to say that it was a strange decision and at the time it looked as if it could cost us the title."

"But I asked to go onto the centregreen to give the Rye House position as I could see that there were arguments starting on the terraces between the rival fans and I wanted to try and nip that in the bud."

A battling recovery from the Raiders saw them emerge victorious by a solitary point over the Fen Tigers which Silver described as 'poetic justice'. He added: "It was a feat and a half to win that championship on Mildenhall's track and all of the boys deserve massive credit."

"Luke Bowen was a revelation and he not only rode brilliantly but he also lent his bike out to Joel after his machine was wrecked and to Barrie Evans
when his expired at the line in the last heat decider. We now have a lovely big trophy the first major piece of silverware that Rye House has won since 1980 and we will be parading that before Saturday's match against Swindon."

"And our confidence is high as we go into our last three fixtures knowing that we must win them all if we are to take the league title. Joel has picked up quite a nasty shoulder injury following the heat six crash and he is taking intensive physiotherapy in order to be available for the away visit to Swindon on Thursday. That is a match that we have to win, if we don't then we will be struggling."



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