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Devils take a rare 5-1 in heat 14 Image Credit: Jack Cupido

Devils miss out once more

NEWS Friday 15th July 2022, 11:17pm

by Mike Hunter

The Stellar Devils felt they had a real chance of putting their first league points on the board tonight, even with the strength which the visiting Kent Royals are known to have at the top of their side, but too many points slipped through the net in the lower orders also as the visitors recorded a deserved 48-42 victory.

Devils' new no. 1 Lee Complin has just returned to the sport this season and then had another unexpected month off when Newcastle closed. He said "I found it good, obviously the track was different to when I came with Newcastle and there was a bit more dirt on. I'm struggling with starts at the moment, and obviously just riding time, being out for ten years, come back and then another month off, I don't need that right now! I hope to bang some points in at Leicester tomorrow and Mildenhall Sunday."

It was not all doom and gloom for the Devils. As well as a decent debut by Complin with a couple of wins, the other new boy Elliot Kelly (after a wayward first ride) made a very satisfactory contribution. It was a tough night for the home heat leaders but that was predictable with Bowtell and Morley in the opposition.

Gregor Millar was in double figures for the first time this season and he won the race of the night in heat 8 when he caught race leader Connor King on the finishing line. Gregor won two other heats and teamed up with Kelly for a 5-1 in heat 14 which took the match to a last heat decider.

Embleton was solid enough with four third places but Lewis Millar rode without confidence and looked like a rider who might benefit from dropping to the second half for a while. He finished pointless from three rides.

There has to be a lot of credit given to the visitors, because they were missing a couple of riders. However the others stepped up to give decent backing to Alfie Bowtell and Ben Morley, who dropped just one point between them. Any thoughts that Armadale might have had of splitting them in the big heats 13 and 15 lasted just about to the second bend in both races.

The middle pair of Danno Verge and Connor King both scored 7 on their first visits to Armadale and they got points from their inexperienced reserve pair as well.

Devils had taken the lead in heat 1 thanks to Complin's win over Bowtell, and there was never more than two points in it right up to heat 12. Gregor Millar's win in heat 8 levelled the scores at that point and they actually went ahead in heat 10 when Complin won again, but a shock 1-5 in the following race was a setback.

Bowtell and Morley showed their class in heats 13 and 15 and even that well-won heat 14 5-1 wasn't enough to bring the Devils these much needed points.