The Knights Are Back!
After a gap of nearly 20yrs, MK 'Alpine Cooling' Knights returned to speedway action with two junior challenge meetings against Mildenhall Academy & Rye House Raiders.
First up was the trip to Mildenhall and with club Captain Luke Barnes missing out due to the broken hand he suffered in practice the weekend before, the honour of captaining the Knights on their return to track action was handed to the experienced Richard Cawthorne.
With a large following from Milton Keynes, Conor Dwyer recorded the first points of the new era, splitting the experienced home pairing of Trevor Heath & Shane Henry in heat 1, Heath taking the win! Conor�s performance all the more impressive considering he'd never even seen the Mildenhall track before!
Heat 2 saw the Knights' only race winner on the day, former Mildenhall rider Nick Laurence with an impressive victory over Mildenhall's Niall Strudwick , in a re-run after home rider Adam Kirby crashed heavily at the first attempt, with the unfortunate Adam Briggs suffering a broken chain which prevented him picking up a point for 3rd place which would have put the scores level.
With Richard Cawthorne suffering with a lack of speed & Adam Briggs suffering a further broken chain, the result was never going to be in doubt with the home side running out 23-12 winners!
For the travelling supporters, management and riders of the Knights, the result didn�t matter!
Just the sight of the MK Knights race jackets, roaring round the track was enough to send them home happy and this time they wouldn't have to wait 20yrs to see the team again!
On Bank Holiday Monday, the Knights made the short journey to Hoddesdon to take on Rye House Raiders with a new line-up. Trevor Heath & Niall Strudwick were drafted in after their performances for Mildenhall & Ben Holloway was drafted in from Long Eaton, joining Adam Briggs in the team and the changes seemed to work!
After a shared first heat, Heath & Holloway combined in the next 2 heats to give the Knights a 4pt advantage at the halfway stage with an 11 - 7 lead!
Heat 4 saw the home team reduce the deficit to 2pts with a 4-2 win over Strudwick & Briggs, Briggs suffering with engine problems!
With 2 heats to go, a positive result in heat 5 would see the Knights take the meeting win and when Trevor Heath & Ben Holloway raced away from the start in 1st & 2nd, victory was confirmed and the visiting supporters could celebrate for the first time in 20yrs!!
The final race saw a long delay after Raiders' Alex McLeod fell heavily, suffering a dislocated shoulder, needing treatment on the track before being taken to hospital! In the re-start, Adam Briggs recovered from his mechanical problems to finish in 2nd place, much to the delight of the fans and the rider himself! With Niall Strudwick taking 3rd place, for a shared 3-3 heat result, the Knights ran out 21 - 15 winners.
This article was first published on 1st September 2011
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