Rebels return to winning ways takes them back on top
PUBLISHED: 10:08 24 August 2018 | UPDATED: 10:08 24 August 2018
The Somerset Rebels returned to the top of the table after defeating Poole Pirates at the Oaktree Arena.
Somerset Rebels 51
Poole Pirates 39
A perfect night’s work on Monday from world champion Jason Doyle helped ensure the Cases Rebels responded to manager Garry May’s request ‘to bounce back in style’ after conceding their unbeaten home run last week.
A 51-39 victory over in-form Poole gave the Rebels the confidence boost they needed and restored them back to the top of the SGB Premiership table, ahead of their second home meeting last night (Wednesday) when they faced basement side Leicester.
Against the Pirates, the Rebels opened solidly with a treble of 4-2 heat advantages but the visitors were back on level terms after just five heats.
The Rebels response though was instant as Doyle and Summers fired in a 5-1 and steadfastly denied the visitors any opportunity to come back a second time.
A crucial heat nine 5-1 from Richard Lawson and battling Nico Covatti interrupted a string of shared heats and gave the Rebels something of a stranglehold and just three heats later Covatti squashed Poole’s tactical ride as he led home Brady Kurtz by some distance.
With the immaculate Doyle pairing up with Holder in heat 13 for another maximum advantage, the Rebels assured themselves of victory but top spot in the table wasn’t confirmed until they ensured the Pirates would leave pointless, the Dorset side needing to gain six points more than the Rebels over the final two heats.
The Pirates best performer Nicolai Klindt played his part in the bargain and for a while reserve Woryna was in place of a 5-1, but a telling ride by Bradley Wilson-Dean - who was replacing fellow reserve Jake Allen - to pass Woryna rendered the Pirates facing a tough ask in heat 15 needing maximum points against the unbeaten Doyle, who again would have Holder backing him up.
The pressure was too great on out-of-sorts Poole number one Brady Kurtz and he acquired his second starting offence disqualification of the night and with that any realistic chances of holding on to the Premierships premier position faded.
Doyle went on to make it five from five but Garry May was full of universal praise for this side: “The lads rode well tonight. We knew we had to get off to a good start and put some pressure on Poole and we did just that.
“Jason was superb but we had good scoring down through the side. That was a valuable three points in the bag for us and we just need to keep plugging away.”
Somerset: J Doyle 15 (3,3,3,3,3), J Holder 9+1 (0,3,3,2,1), R Lawson 7 (3,1,3,0), B Wilson-Dean 6+1 (1,2,1,0,2), N Covatti 6+1 (1,0,2,3), A Summers 5+1 (1,2,2,0), J Allen 3 (3,0,0).
Somerset Rebels 42
Belle Vue 48
The Cases Somerset Rebels missed the chance on going back to the top of the SGB Premiership table as Belle Vue became the first team to win at the Oak Tree since Poole triumphed back in October last season.
The Aces who have found points on the road hard to come by edged into the lead with a 5-1 from heat five and preciously clung on to their slender advantage as the next seven heats were all shared 3-3.
The Rebels had opened with a 5-1 as Craig Cook offended at the tapes and Jason Doyle and Aaron Summers took full control in the re-run.
Doyle, who expressed his gratitude to the track staff for producing a superb racing strip went on to drop just one point including an absolutely brilliant ride in heat 10 to work a passage by former Rebel Rohan Tungate.
But that dropped point came in heat 13 when he just could not get by track record holder Craig Cook and with Jack Holder unable to overcome Max Fricke, it gave the Aces a valuable four-point lead with two heats remaining.
They doubled that through Berge and Tungate and went into the final heat looking for all four league points, but a robust ride from Doyle and an early retirement from Tungate allowed Somerset to check-out with a 4-2 and deny the Aces a full complement of league points.
Somerset: J Doyle 14 (3,3,3,2,3), B Wilson-Dean 7+1 (2,2,1,2), J Holder 7+1 (1,3,2,0,1), R Lawson 6 (2,1,2,1), A Summers 4+1 (2,R,2,0), J Allen 2+2 (1,0,1,0), N Covatti 2+2 (0,0,1,1).