The curtain comes down on the 2004 Rye House season with the traditional Ace of Herts Championship and grand firework finale this Saturday. Last season's winner was the Rockets skipper Brent Werner whose 2003 season had started off riddled with machinery problems, but who underlined his undoubted talent with a strong season finish.

Werner will be looking to defend his crown - but faces a tough challenge from the usual suspects. All of the 2004 Rockets - save the injured Steve Boxall - will be on parade
along with a support crew of Rye House 'friends' and 'rivals' including Leigh Lanham, Craig Boyce, Adam Shields, Edward Kennett, Jamie Smith, Stuart Robson, Adam Allott, Mark Lemon and the King Brothers Jason and Daniel.

The meeting will also be followed by the announcing of this season's rider of the year Mr Rocket - the voting for which has been taking place at the track over the last few weeks. Last season's winner Scott Robson is always in the running for an award like this, but all of the riders this year have substantial claims on the honour.

Brent Werner has led by example all season, while both Steve Boxall and Tommy Allen have overcome their own problems to post solid seasons at reserve. The absence of Davey Watt and Steve Masters to injury in mid-season illustrated just how much the Rockets depended on them.

While at number one for most of the season, Chris Neath has made many friends on the terraces in his first year as a Rocket with his many wheelies and victory lap(s).

Meanwhile good luck messages have been winging their way to a hospital in Swindon where the injured Elmside Raider Luke Bowen has been this week having an operation to put two screws into his knee.

The operation was successful but he is still spending some time in hospital under observation before being released.
Bowen has had a miserable time of it at Blunsdon over the last two years, suffering leg breaks in track crashes in successive end of season run-ins.

And in his short career he now has a remarkable bunch of war stories with numerous broken bones - but no doubt he will be champing at the bit to be back on his bike and will be targeting a track return next season.

The injury meant he missed the last Elmside Raiders meeting of the season at Hoddesdon on Sunday when they defeated the Wimbledon Dons by 43 points to 53. Although this was a Wimbledon home fixture, it was staged at
Hoddesdon as the Dons had run out of available dates at their south London home to stage the meeting. Tommy Allen top scored for the Raiders with another 18-point maximum.