Author Archives: Chris Hood

Sam Stokes and Joe Stevens Heading for the Big Barney

Joe Stevens (l) and Sam Stokes (r) spoke with Chris Hood

Joe Stevens (l) and Sam Stokes (r) spoke with Chris Hood

Listen again as Basildon boxers Sam Stokes and Joe Stevens talk the Big Barney Essex at Southend’s Skylark Hotel on Saturday 30 September.


Tickets are still available by contacting Sam or Joe on Facebook or by calling 07955 552753.

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Arena Essex

The latest from the Lakeside Speedway Press Office…

LAKESIDE ace Alfie Bowtell is keen to take his chance with both hands after being handed a place in the National League Riders’ Championship at Leicester on Saturday (3pm).

The Vortex Hammers’ racer will join team-mate Ben Morley in the showpiece event against the top riders in the third tier this weekend.

“It’s a big meeting, and I’m pleased to get a chance to be involved,” Bowtell said.

“It’s a busy time for me at the moment, but I’m enjoying it and I’ll try and put in a good performance against some good riders.

“It’s been frustrating to miss so many meetings for Lakeside recently, but I’ve had a good season there and I’ve enjoyed riding for the club.

“Hopefully we’ll have done enough to make the play-offs and I’ll get a few more meetings to try and go all the way.”

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Lakeside Speedway – MATCH REPORT

Arena Essex

The latest from the Lakeside Speedway Press Office…

LAKESIDE’s play-off fate is now out of their hands following a 53-37 defeat at Buxton.
It was another disappointing away day for the Vortex Hammers who managed just three heat advantages against the league’s bottom club.

The Purfleet side now face a nervy wait on the outcome of Cradley and Mildenhall’s outstanding five meetings in hand between them and Paul Hurry admits it was another unacceptable performance.

“We know we should we be doing better and unfortunately it was the story of our season where we had to carry the less experienced members of the team at the lower end,” Hurry said.

“It’s never the easiest of places to go to and credit to Buxton for getting the win, but we should be doing a lot better really.

“This isn’t how we wanted our fixtures to end at all and it’s going to be a tense week or two now.

“We wanted to get the job done ourselves, but now we have to rely on the performances and results of other teams unfortunately.”

BUXTON 53: Max Clegg 14, Liam Carr 13+2, Tom Woolley 7+1, Jamie Halder 5+3, Ryan Kinsley 5+1, Shelby Rutherford 5, Lee Geary 4.
LAKESIDE 37: Paul Hurry 10, Ben Morley 10, Luke Bowen 7, Luke Priest 6+1, Jamie Couzins 3, Nick Laurence 1, Alex Spooner 0

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DORJA Are Back!

Anna Mylee (far left) and Rosie Botterill (2nd right) joined Chris to talk about their new single

Anna Mylee (far left) and Rosie Botterill (2nd right) joined Chris to talk about their new single

Trans-Atlantic hard rock sensation DORJA are back with their new single, Far Gone.

The girls combine powerful, guitar driven hooks, heavy drums, thumping bass and vocals with the raw energy to challenge even Janis Joplin, to create some of the best rock music you’ve ever heard.

Listen as drummer Anna Mylee and guitarist Rosie Botterill talk about the new single and the band’s journey to this point.

Far Gone is available now exclusively on until Monday, when it gets it’s general release.

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Lakeside Speedway – SUNDAY PREVIEW

Arena Essex

The latest from the Lakeside Speedway Press Office…

LAKESIDE promoter Jon Cook says his side can take nothing for granted when they head to Buxton on Sunday (3pm).

The Vortex Hammers know a win at the Hi-Edge Raceway would see them secure an end-of-season play-off place in the final regular league fixture of the campaign.

And despite Buxton sitting bottom of the table with just eight points to their name, Cook is anticipating a tough battle.

“Just because they’re propping up the rest that doesn’t mean you can presume the result is a foregone conclusion,” Cook said.

“Buxton’s is a very different type of track and we can’t afford to make any mistakes around there.

“They picked up a shock draw at Mildenhall the other weekend and they also ran Birmingham very close a few weeks ago there too.

“So we need to make sure we approach it properly and get something out of the meeting.

“A win would guarantee us a place in the play-offs but who knows, a consolation point may also be enough in the end.

“The riders just have to go there and do their best.”

With Zach Wajtknecht still out injured and Alfie Bowtell on Championship duty with Newcastle, the Hammers have booked in-form Kent captain Luke Bowen to deputise alongside former Buxton man Luke Priest.

The Hitmen bring in Birmingham racer Liam Carr to guest for Matt Williamson while Jamie Halder comes in at reserve.

BUXTON: Liam Carr, Shelby Rutherford, Tom Woolley, Ryan Kinsley, Max Clegg, Lee Geary, Jamie Halder.
LAKESIDE: Luke Bowen, Nick Laurence, Paul Hurry, Luke Priest, Ben Morley, Jamie Couzins, Connor Locke.

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Brentwood Boy Ashby’s Back for Leopards

Leopards v Reading Rockets 09 Sept 2017; Will Ashby;

Dave Ryan reports…

Levett Essex Leopards have strengthened their roster ahead of Sunday’s opener against Nottingham Hoods at the Brentwood Centre with the addition of guard Will Ashby.

The Brentwood-based player joins the Big Cats for the third time having started last season with BBL side London Lions before moving on to Spanish club Roquette Benifaio.

The 25-year-old started his career as a junior with Brentwood Fire, playing a season on dual registration terms with the Big Cats. After a season in Division Four with Newham Neptunes’ B team, he helped their first team win Division Two and reach the play-offs in their first season in the top flight. He rejoined the Leopards in the summer of 2014 and won the club’s Most Valuable Player award as the Big Cats stormed to the Division One title.

Coach Thomas Baker is delighted to add Ashby to his squad: “Adding someone of Will’s quality is something I’m really pleased with. I know he has been part of this club before and everyone is excited to have him back” he said.

“In pre-season Will demonstrated his ability to shoot the three and play relentless defence on numerous occasions, adding to the quality we already have in the team.

“Having had conversations with Will over the past few weeks he is 100 percent invested in bringing success to the team and we are in for an exciting season ahead and I am looking forward to starting this weekend.”

Ashby is pleased to be back with his hometown club: “I’m excited to be coming back to Leopards after a year away. It’s great to be a part of a really strong young team who have their goals set on silverware and promotion. It will be a great year and I look forward to be playing in front of the Essex fans again in my hometown.”

The Big Cats are hopeful that Ashby’s international clearance will be received in time for Sunday’s Patron’s Cup game against Nottingham at Brentwood, which tips off at 4pm. There are still a few places on the pre-game junior coaching session, call 07828 470015.


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Baker Ready for Hoods Opener

tom v rr

Dave Ryan reports…

As Levett Essex Leopards prepare for the visit of Nottingham Hoods to the Brentwood Centre on Sunday, coach Thomas Baker is ready for the new season.

Sunday’s game tips off at 4pm, with junior coaching starting at 2pm – further details on

“There’s a great feeling amongst the guys and everyone is invested in getting better one step at a time” said Baker after Saturday’s 90-80 victory against Division One title favourites Reading Rockets in Leopards’ final pre-season game.

“After such a great result against Reading Rockets we have completed our pre-season friendlies. We have shown at times that this year we will be the team to beat but we have also shown at times that we are still growing and developing together. No one is going to hand us victories that’s been proven so we must be willing to out-work teams.

“The performance against Rockets pleased me a lot. The result itself was good but how the result came was the key. The game had everything and the growth we have shown in a week is just a snippet of how much we can still grow collectively. We showed that we can fight through adversity and we also showed that we can hurt teams in multiple ways.

“Defensively we were exceptional for the most part against Reading, however we did come unstuck against Team USA the week before. We just need to stay focused throughout play-phases to get the reward we deserve for playing hard.

“We are ready to go and we are really excited for this journey together this season and we know what is expected of us moving forward. Now it’s time to get down to business. We have spoken a lot as a team about how we want this season to go now it’s time for us to deliver!”

Sunday’s game sees Leopards’ debut in the Patrons Cup as the Big Cats begin life in the second tier of the NBL, and the format of the competition means that there is no room for error as the Big Cats look to reach the semi-final of the competition.

With a side containing former England international David Watts, Hoods finished sixth in the 12-team Division Two last season, winning ten of their 22 games, but went out of the play-offs at the first stage. They won their Patrons Cup group but lost in the semi-final against eventual winners Newcastle University.

In Saturday’s surprise win against Rockets, AJ Roberts led the way with 24 points, while Ruben Saiz Colon added 15 and Shaq Lewis 14. Brentwood-based guards Will Ashby (12) and Dougie Bennett (11) also finished in double figures as the Big Cats led from tip to buzzer.

A 24-17 first period set Leopards up for the victory and they shaded the second quarter by a point to lead 45-37 at half-time despite Rockets scoring the final four points following a technical foul on the bench.

The lead peaked at 22 in the third quarter as Leopards outscored the visitors 27-14 to lead 72-51 going into the final break. The hosts noticeably took their foot off the gas in the fourth period as Rockets opened with a 14-2 run but seven straight Roberts points capped by a trey saw them regain the initiative and hold on for a comfortable win.

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