Boxall signs for the Rebels

SPEEDWAY - THE Dickies Somerset Rebels have secured the services of Steve Boxall to fill the team place left vacant following last month's tragic death of Emil Kramer.

THE Dickies Somerset Rebels have secured the services of Steve Boxall to fill the team place left vacant following last month's tragic death of Emil Kramer in a road accident in his native Sweden and will be joining the Rebels on a 7.45 starting average.

Originally without a team berth for the up coming 2010 season, Boxall put himself in the shop window with a stunning performance that saw him emerge victorious in the New Year Classic meeting at Newport at the start of the month, a victory that was made all the more impressive by virtue of the fact he was riding borrowed machinery.

The 22-year-old started his speedway career with Rye House, being a product of their Conference League side, and was the winner of the Conference League Riders' Championship in 2005, as well as being a part of the Rye House side that won the Premier League and Premier Trophy that same year.

After doubling up between the Conference and Premier Leagues with Rye House, 2006 saw Boxall move full time in the Premier League and was a member of the Rockets side that won the Premier League for a second time in 2007.

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Canterbury born Boxall decided that the time was now right for a move up into the Elite League and signed for Belle Vue in 2008, but a shoulder injury sustained almost as soon as the season got under way was to keep him on the sidelines for the remainder of the season.

He returned to action at the start of the 2009 campaign with Newcastle in the Premier League, but was released mid-season by the Diamonds as a result of a team shake-up that saw them sign Danish rider Rene Bach, but Boxall was quickly snapped up by Elite League Poole as replacement for their Polish rider, Karol Baran.

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"Steve is a rider with proven ability, but has not had the best of luck over the past couple of years what with injury and the mechanical problems that seemed to plague him last year," said a spokesperson for the Rebels.

"He will be teaming up with riders that he knows well in Tommy Allen and Ritchie Hawkins, so he should feel right at home, and I know that the Somerset fans will be backing Steve, as they do all the riders that don the Rebel race-jacket, all the way."

"We are not signing Steve as replacement for Emil, which would be an unfair burden to place upon his shoulders, but as a rider that we feel will compliments the other six riders in the team and one that once he settles in to his new surroundings will perform well for us."

SOMERSET Rebel Sam Masters finished an extremely creditable fourth in the Australian Under-21 speedway championship held at, the meeting being eventually won by defending champion and the current world Under-21 champion Darcy Ward.

After the 20 qualifying heats, Masters headed the scorechart with 14 out of a possible 15 points, which included a win over Ward, and saw him seeded directly through to the four-rider final, but unfortunately he could not replicate his performance from those qualifying heats in the winner takes all final, which Ward won from the tapes ahead of 2009 Rebel Justin Sedgmen with Sheffield's Josh Auty in third place.

While Masters will obviously be disappointed at not winning the title, it was still an excellent performance by the 18-year-old that saw him be the only rider to defeat Ward on track during the qualifying heats, and also out-perform a number of his compatriots who have far greater experience of riding in the UK, which augers well for when he links up with Somerset for what will be his debut season in British speedway that commences in mid-March.

Somerset's Cory Gathercole followed hot on the heels of 2010 team-mate Sam Masters' excellent showing in this weekend's Australian Under-21 championship with an equally good performance in South Australian State championship held at Gillman Speedway.

As probably expected, the meeting was dominated by the three Elite League riders that were among the 16 riders vying for the title, with Peterborough's Troy Batchelor securing the championship crown, thus making it a hat-trick of victories for the 22- year-old.

Gathercole qualified with relative ease for the B final, scoring 10 points from his five rides, and although a fall in his last ride while in second place denting his final total, this did not affect any chances that the Somerset rider had of making it directly through to the grand final as these had already effectively been decided by that point of the meeting, as had Gathercole's place in the B final.

With the Elite League trio of Batchelor, Cameron Woodward and Ty Proctor booking their place in the championship final, with just the winner of the B inal joining them to decide who would ride away with the title.Unfortunately for Gathercole, he was headed home by Sheffield's Josh Auty, and so just missed out on a place in the grand final to ultimately finish in fifth place overall.

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