The 2019 speedway season kicked off in Plymouth on Friday night (April 19th) when the Jarvis Nuclear Gladiators squared off against the league favourites the Kent Kings in a 46-44 home win to the Gladiators. Team Manager and Co Promoter Mattie Bates said: “the meeting couldn’t have gone better for us. We had to slightly delay the start time due to supporters still queuing to come into the Coliseum, which in itself was really nice to see. It’s been quite some time that we’ve had to delay the start time at Plymouth for that reason. There was definitely a real buzz about the place. From the rider parade, the meeting itself and the victory parade, the whole presentation was just great and the fans seemed to love it”.
With 15 heats of thrills, spills and action packed racing the Gladiators took a well deserved win under their new name in front of a packed out home crowd. Bates said: “the meeting did have a few delays with some questionable refereeing decisions being made but on a whole I am absolutely thrilled with the result. Kent were a little unlucky with a few decisions made that went against them but sometimes someones misfortune is someone else’s luck and it doesn’t devalue our win at all. At the end of the day the lads went out and did the job they needed to do”.
The meeting did come at a cost when team captain Richard Andrews was injured in a heat 14 crash. Bates said: “it was such a shame about Richard. He was literally about to hit the front to take the lead when the crash happened. It appears Rich has suffered a broken bone in his foot, as well as some damage to his number 1 race bike. Next Friday we will be holding a collection for Rich to help raise money for not just bike repairs but to get him booked into some laser treatments to help the bone heal quicker”. Bates also added: “a massive congratulations to Nathan Stoneman who celebrated the meeting with a 15 point maximum”.
Plymouth’s next home meeting is National Trophy action next Friday (April 26th) when they take one the Mildenhall Tigers. Gates open at 5:45pm with the racing starting at 7:15pm.
“Maximum man Nathan Stoneman”