Speedway: Glasgow 51 Somerset 39
PUBLISHED: 08:30 02 October 2019 | UPDATED: 08:30 02 October 2019
An extension of their 20th Anniversary season hinges on the 'Cases' Somerset Rebels overhauling a 12-point deficit when they host the Glasgow Tigers on Wednesday.
The Rebels fought bravely on the Scottish shale on Tuesday night and were in touch with the home side for the majority of the meeting.
But the Tigers' powerhouse of Craig Cook and Rasmus Jensen, the SGB Championship Pairs winners at the Oak Tree Arena recently, prevailed in the closing stages to deliver maximum heat scores in heats 13 and 15 and put the Tigers in the driving seat of the tie.
Team manager Garry May said: "Our boys did well, very well and we had them worried for much of the meeting as we refused to allow them to get away from us.
"Anders (Rowe) rode particularly well and with a maturity about him and he very much kept us in it. I think the turning point was when Rory Schlein was denied a second place that he had worked extremely hard for in heat nine and which most people seemed to feel, as I did, that he had stolen the points from Sam Jensen.
"But the one opinion that mattered, that of the referee, saw it differently and they (Glasgow) banked a 5-1 from the heat. It was always going to be tough to get back from six down after that knowing that they had 'Cookie' and 'Razzer' in two of the last three heats.
"But we kept plugging away and Luke Harris was close to getting what would have been a vital third place in heat 14.
"I have to say that 12 points to pull back makes it tough for us. It means we must outscore them in at least four heats and not allow them to get anything back on us in the others.
"That makes it tricky but I know our lads will go out there and fight for every point going. We still want to win this tie and if we can get off to a good start, you never know they might capitulate.
"The Premiership play-off semi-final saw precisely that on Saturday when Poole squandered a first leg lead of 10 to home side Ipswich. We will be looking for 52 points tonight so we need to take all our chances and to quote an old cliché, avoid the last places."
The Rebels have made a switch to the riding order deployed at Glasgow with Rory Schlein switching from number five to three and Nick Morris going in the opposite direction.
Captain Chris Harris leads the team and with his October average being 0.01 higher than that of Schlein he assumes the number one race jacket.
Glasgow: C Cook 11+2, M Andersen 2+2, C Vissing 9+1, S Jensen 4+1, R Jensen 14, C Bailey 3+2, K Bickley 8+1.
Somerset: C Harris 7, A Rowe 6+2, N Morris 10, N Covatti 6+2, R Schlein 9, N Stoneman 0, L Harris 1.
Wednesday teams, Somerset: 1 Chris Harris (captain), 2 Anders Rowe, 3 Rory Schlein, 4 Nico Covatti, 5 Nick Morris, 6 Nathan Stoneman, 7 Luke Harris. Team manager Garry May.
Glasgow: 1 Craig Cook (captain), 2 Mikkel B.Andersen, 3 Claus Vissing, 4 Sam Jensen, 5 Rasmus Jensen, 6 Connor Bailey, 7 Kyle Bickley. Team manager Cameron Brown.