Somerset Rebel lift the Premiership Knockout Cup

PUBLISHED: 15:57 24 October 2018 | UPDATED: 15:57 24 October 2018

Nico Covatti.

Nico Covatti.

Archant

The Somerset Rebels picked up their first piece of silverware in the top flight of British Speedway by winning the Premiership Knockout Cup.

The Cases Somerset Rebels reserve Nico Covatti recorded his second double figure in the final of the SGB Premiership Knockout Cup competition to give the club their first piece of silverware since stepping up to the top flight of British Speedway last year.

At the Adrian Flux Arena, the Argentinian-born, Italian-licenced 30-year-old matched his first leg paid 15 score as the Rebels protected their 16-point advantage to secure the aggregate victory when Jason Doyle and Nico Covatti headed home Niels-Kristian Iversen and Simon Lambert in heat 11.

The rampant Rebels spurred on by a determined Richard Lawson, had raced into a 16-8 second leg lead before the home side could celebrate a race winner.

Lawson dropped a solitary point in his first three rides, that to Erik Riss in heat eight as the Rebels inched closer to their aggregate target of 91 points.

The excellent form from Covatti, who was joined in the reserves berth by his compatriot Fernando Coty Garcia, a late addition for the Rebels after Jake Allen had ruled himself out with a knee injury sustained on Wednesday night, ensured the Rebels maintained the momentum, offering the deflated Stars very few opportunities to turn the tie round.

The Stars were able to close out their season by salvaging an on-the-night draw, denied a consolation victory when Rebels guest Chris Harris cleverly cut-back on Erik Riss to split the German star from partner Robert Lambert.

A jubilant Debbie Hancock hailed the night as “a truly great feeling and a perfect way to end the season. We can look back on the year and celebrate what has been quite successful with us reaching the play-offs and only losing out in the 30th heat of the semi-final and then winning this cup having beaten the three clubs that, alongside us, reached those play-offs.”

The Rebels will be parading the trophy at their end of season presentation evening on November 2, an event to which Charles Wright and Paul Starke have both been invited to attend.

Garry May vowed to “do everything I possibly can to bring Charles Wright back as a Rebel in 2019” after the Stockport skidder had contributed paid 12 to the Rebels cause in the first leg.

Earlier in the season Wright was dropped by the Somerset side after a pitside disagreement, but with the Rebels needing cover for the injured Bradley Wilson-Dean, May offered Wright a guest appearance and the rider delighted the home fans with a gutsy performance, unbeaten in the four rides he completed.

Wright battled on after a fall to make appearances in heats 12 and 15 combining respectively with Nico Covatti and Jason Doyle for two massive 5-1 heat advantages that resulted in a 16-point first leg advantage.

Besides Wright’s heroics, the Rebels were heavily reliant, for the second successive meeting, on the support from reserves Covatti and Jake Allen.

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