Falcons grounded by super Rebel show

PUBLISHED: 09:04 26 June 2006 | UPDATED: 09:29 24 May 2010

Magnus Zetterstrom in action.

Magnus Zetterstrom in action.

A LARGE crowd were not only blessed with glorious weather for this specially arranged West Country challenge match, but the action on track was of an equally hot nature

A LARGE crowd were not only blessed with glorious weather for this specially arranged West Country challenge match, but the action on track was of an equally hot nature. Despite problems trackside that meant there was no public address system operating, the riders put on a terrific display of fully committed riding that belied the notion that challenge matches are dull, boring affairs.Exeter, and it was so good to see the Falcon race-jacket being kept alive during their sabbatical year, tracked a strong line-up that was sure to test the Rebels, and so it proved. After the first four heats, Somerset had established a six point lead, providing three out of the four race winners, this lead being stretched by a further two points in an all-action Heat 5.Michael Coles rolled back the years with a lightening start, but was soon picked off by Katt, who established a good lead, aware of the action unfolding behind him. The Exeter duo of Lemon and Coles seemed to have settled into the minor places, but had not accounted for Phillips, who made an outrageous pass between to the two team riding Falcons on the third bend. Lemon came back past Phillips, only for the Rebel Number 4 to cut back under Lemo on the final bend, but having got the better drive coming off the turn, the Aussie just got the verdict on the line.Jordan Frampton may not be a familiar name to many, but the youngster, who has been riding well in the second half at Somerset this season, certainly nailed his colours to the Premier League mast with his performance, highlighted by his ride in Heat 8, where he made an excellent start and held off all challenges of his more experienced opponents, especially Baker, who tried every line possible to pass Frampton. Not all at fazed by the pressure, the 21-year-old held his nerve until Barker tried an inside pass that ended in tears as he brought Frampton sliding to the ground and referee Graham Reeve no option but to exclude the Somerset reserve.Heat 13 was another classic as there was never a couple of bike lengths between all four riders, and although Somerset eventually finished victorious by a seven-point margin, the match result was almost secondary as the real winners were the fans who were treated to 15 heats of pulsating racing, credit for which should be given to all 14 riders who took to the track.HAVING been released from hospital following a successful operation on his broken leg, Rebel Paul Fry has a two-week wait until he returns to visit the specialist and check on his progress. The operation involved inserting a plate in his leg with, as his consultant said, extra screws because of the actual bone damage. Paul can actually stand on the leg but he is really only relying on that plate to hold him up. The injury happened during Heat 14 of Somerset's match against Berwick on June 2, as Paul explains: "I can remember the Berwick rider on the inside of me lifting slightly as we headed for the bend and by the time he had brought the bike back under control we were heading towards the safety fence. "Once I've been back to the hospital in a couple of weeks time, I'll have a clearer idea of how long I will be out of action, but it is my intention to be back before the end of the season. I though I had turned the corner after the bad spell I had endured recently with bike problems and then this happens, I'm really gutted."REBEL Pavel Ondrasik continued his return to fitness following a wrist injury sustained at the start of the season by taking third place in the Czech longtrack final, which was won by Zdenek Schneiderwind. "While it was good to get to the final and make third place, I think I could have done better, but I made a bad start in the final, which left me too much to do," said Ondrasik after the meeting. "I was fifth out of the gate, and although I got past two other finalists, I could do no more."Magnus Zetterstrom and Glenn Cunningham, the Rebel representatives in the Premier League Pair Championships at Glasgow, had a wasted journey north of the border as rain washed out the event after just three heats were completed. Despite the recent glorious spell of weather, Glasgow was hit by heavy rain, leaving the organisers no alternative but to call off proceedings.Zetterstrom and Cunningham were looking to go one better than their runners-up spot in last year's championship, but will now have to wait for the re-staging of the event in their bid to add to the Fours title won by the Rebels last season. As yet no date has been announced for the re-staging of the championship.

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