Devils defeated at the Oak Tree Arena

Somerset Rebels are through to the quarter-finals of the cup after victory over the Plymouth Devils.

Somerset Rebels 54

Plymouth Devils 36

THE Somerset Rebels defeated the Plymouth Devils over two legs in the first round of the Premier League Knockout Cup.

In the first leg at the Oak Tree Arena, the Devils took a first heat lead, when Ben Barker prevailed. The second heat was easily won by Kyle Hughes, with James Holder bringing up the rear.

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Hughes was straight back into the action with Sam Masters, who powered off the line to lead from start to finish, bringing the scores level at 9-9.

Cory Gathercole opened his account in heat four with a victory, with partner Holder in fourth spot. The Devils were back in front after heat 5, as Barker came from behind the fast starting Sam Masters to take the win.

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Jason Doyle got back into winning ways, with a lightning start in heat six, to lead every inch of the way. Behind him, Dakota North fell away as the Devils took a share of the points to retain their slender lead.

Heat seven saw Seemond Stephens roll back the years as he led all the way to take the win. The Rebels finally started to get to grips with the tie in heat eight, as North romped home, with Holder taking third.

Heat nine saw the Rebels move into the lead for the first time, with North, taking the replacement ride, adding a second win in quick succession, with Masters ensuring a full house.

Heat 10 added another maximum advantage to the total, as Doyle took his second win of the night, closely followed home by North. The Devils still had some fight left as Ben Barker took heat 11 in front of Cory Gathercole.

That was it as far as the Devils went as the Rebels now pressed home their lead, taking an advantage in all of the remaining four heats. Sam Masters and James Holder combined for a 4-2 in heat 12 and Doyle and Gathercole stretching the lead to 12 points in the next heat.

Masters and Holder registered another maximum in heat 14 and in the last heat, Doyle raced home in first spot as the Rebels ran out winners by 54-36.

Jason Doyle again showed why he is loved by the Somerset faithful, and his 13+1 point performance earned him the ‘Rider of the Night’ award from a group of fans going by the name of the Ilminster Posse.

Plymouth 47 (83)

Somerset 43 (97)

IN the return leg at the diminutive track of the St Boniface Arena, the Rebels went down 47-43, but won the two-legged tie 97-83.

The Devils got off to a great start in the first heat, when Ben Barker stormed to a new track record, recording 49.51 for the newly established race distance of 216 metres. Rebels’ guest Kevin Doolan third and Dakota North fourth.

The Rebels were soon back on level terms, as they added a maximum advantage of their own, with Jamie Pickard and James Holder giving the Rebels a full house.

Jason Bunyan and James Holder took the replacement rides in heat three, with Bunyan taking the win, leading from Masters. The Devils took two big chunks out of the Rebels overall lead in the next three heats, starting with a maximum advantage in heat four.

The Rebels took heat 5 to pull back a couple of points, but in heat six, the Devils added another maximum to the tally. North replied with a maximum in heat seven with North and Masters in command.

North was straight back out in heat eight, and back in the thick of another Rebels full house to level the match scores at 24-24, backed up by Holder. Cory Gathercole gave the ride of the meeting in heat nine, but still didn’t win the race due to a puncture, pipped on the line by Cockle.

Heat 10 saw the Devils add a second consecutive 4-2 to their card, as Barker made it three wins from three rides. The Devils took heat 11 with a maximum, reduced the Rebels overall lead.

Masters was having a great night, as he added a win to his three second places in heat 12. The next heat saw the Rebels post a maximum as Gathercole and Doolan took the top places.

Masters added a second win to his tally in heat 14 and his good night’s work saw him rewarded with a place in heat 15, alongside Kevin Doolan, but had to settle for a share of the points as Barker raced home.

The star of the meeting, as far as the Rebels were concerned, was Sam Masters, whose paid 15-points (13+2) haul saw him top score on the night.

In the quarter-final, Somerset will meet the Newcastle Diamonds, who defeated Rye House in their opening round tie, with the Rebels provisionally staging their home leg at the Oak Tree Arena on July 22, with the return leg due to be staged at the Newcastle Stadium just two days later.

The next home match is against Leicester in the Premier League. Tapes up 7.30pm.

? THE Somerset Rebels are offering their fans the unique opportunity to be the meeting sponsor for their home match against Edinburgh on July 6 for just �5.

Draw tickets are available on race nights for fans to purchase and the winning ticket will be drawn during Somerset’s home match against Workington on June 17.

The winner will become the sponsor for the visit of 2010 Premier League champions, the Edinburgh Monarchs, to the Oak Tree Arena the following month.

“The winner will receive all the benefits that are available to any of our corporate meeting sponsors,” said Somerset promoter Debbie Hancock.

“This will include six free entry passes, a reserved table in the clubhouse together with a buffet, the chance to watch heats 14 and 15 from the centre green and to choose and present the Somerset rider of the night award, the presentation photograph being subsequently signed by the rider, framed and then presented to the winning sponsor at a later date.”

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