Rye House's American ace Brent Werner has been praised by team boss John Sampford for his heat 13 performance in the Rockets narrow 47-43 win over Reading at Hoddesdon on Sunday. While rising star Edward Kennett was unlucky not to go unbeaten in the Raiders' massive win over Newport.

With team mate Nigel Sadler out in front and two Racers snapping at his heels, Werner rode the perfect defensive race covering first the inside and then the outside at just the right times to baulk the opposition. Sampford said: "That was one of the best rides we have seen from Brent and underlines the fact that this is a team sport and it's not just about winning races."

Meanwhile, Kennett announced his return to British Speedway with four paid wins out of five against Newport on Monday - a score which would have been the perfect five but for a snapped primary chain on the last lap of his third race.

Kennett was back on these shores after a raiding party to Sweden where he was competing in the world under 16 championship - a title which he used to take a bit more seriously than he does now. He said: "The competition in Sweden takes place on 80cc two-stroke junior machines and since I started competing on 500cc machines in the Conference League this year it wasn't as fun as before.

"I was riding on borrowed equipment and the track was tiny but very deep and it was a lot different to the speedway I am now riding. I got through the quarter final OK but in the semi I had a guy go right underneath me and take me out and that did my chances of making the final."

Kennett's Swedish sojourn meant that he missed the Buxton round of the Conference League Riders' Championship on Sunday but the BSPA have ruled that as he was on international duty he is eligible to take a place in the Wimbledon qualifier instead.

Two other Raiders who were due to be at Buxton missed out on the meeting for very different reasons.
Daniel Giffard was caught in grid-locked traffic on the motorway en route to the Peak District and had to turn for home when it became obvious that he would not make the start.

And 15-year-old Steve Boxall was also a no-show although in his case it was because he was unaware that he was supposed to be riding after not receiving a booking slip.

Whether he would have competed or not is questionable as he was still recovering from an injury picked up in a second half spill with James Cockle, but he was back in top form on Monday when he celebrated the completion of a new sponsorship deal with Hotchkiss Air Supply by recording the first paid maximum of his short career.

The Rockets now depart on a northern tour which takes in Edinburgh on Friday and Berwick on Saturday and means that for the second week running the speedway at Rye House will be on Sunday when the Raiders compete a top of the table Conference League clash against Peterborough.