Injury hoodoo hits the Rebels again
PUBLISHED: 09:48 12 June 2006 | UPDATED: 09:26 24 May 2010
IT WAS a night of mixed fortunes for the Somerset Mike Manning Audio Rebels as they overcame some early stubborn resistance from the Berwick Bandits, to run out winners by 14-points, 53-39
IT WAS a night of mixed fortunes for the Somerset Mike Manning Audio Rebels as they overcame some early stubborn resistance from the Berwick Bandits, to run out winners by 14-points, 53-39.However, their injury hoodoo seems to have struck again, with the loss of Paul Fry in Heat 14. Fry has suffered a few tough weeks recently, one way or another, but for the last two or three weeks had returned to his sparkling best.It now appears that he could be out for some time, with a leg injury that saw him taken to hospital, after an innocuous looking fall.Slowly away for the first time all evening, he went into the first bend alongside Craig Branney, they both slid to the ground in an easy looking fall. It was soon apparent that Fry required more than the normal attention from the medics, and he was eventually taken off the track, and to hospital by ambulance.The match itself was slow to take off with the early exchanges being fairly even. In fact it would have been all square after the first four heats, had it not been for two riders not completing the course in Heat 2.Simon Walker shot from the tapes to lead Craig Branney, but behind them Danny Warwick fell on the second turn, and Ben Barker only got a few yards further before he retired with engine trouble, leaving an unusual 3-2 scoreline.The Rebels looked like getting a flying start in the opener, as Magnus Zetterstrom led off the first turn, followed by Stanislaw Burza, being challenged by Glen Phillips.Track conditions caught out the Rebels Number 2 as he picked some unexpected grip, and almost lost the bike in the second turn, and by the time he had gained control he found himself at the rear.It was the Bandits who took the first real advantage, in Heat 5, when Stanislaw Burza, and David Meldrum shot from the gates. Paul Fry soon accounted for Meldrum on the back straight to take second spot, and set off after Burza.Behind them Stephan Katt suffered a mechanical problem, and retired on Lap 2. The Rebels struck back immediately with a 5-1 from skipper, Zorro, and Glen Phillips. They made quick work of the Bandits pair on the opening turns, and were never troubled from then on.Two more 4-2's followed, first from Glenn Cunningham, and Simon Walker. After a level break, Cunningham led out of turn one, and Walker accounted for Makovsky, and set off after Smethills, catching him, and producing some great side by side racing before having to give best to the Berwick man.Glenn Phillips was made to do it twice in Heat 8, after he had led only to have the race stopped when David Meldrum came to grief on the third bend. In the re-run he again made no mistakes, leading off the second turn to win easily. Ben Barker took third spot having spent the whole race glued to Craig Branney's back wheel.Another 5-1 followed, this time supplied by Stephan Katt and Paul Fry. Andreas Bergstrom led away, but had no answer to the twin pronged attack of the Rebels middle order off the second bend.The Bandits then stopped the rot with a 2-4 advantage in Heat 10, but how different it should have been. Magnus Zetterstrom made a lightning start alongside his partner Glen Phillips.Michal Makovsky produced an almost suicidal dive up the inside of Phillips on the second bend of Lap 2, leaving the Somerset man nowhere to go, and ending up outside Phillips as they exited the bend. Zorro was, by this time well clear, only to drop a primary chain at the end of Lap 3, and retire from the race.Still nine points down, Peter Waite now threw in the tactical in the shape of Stanislaw Burza. The Rebels answered the move by producing another 5-1, in a flawless race by Cunningham, and Walker.A fast start by both saw them win untroubled, leaving Burza's tactical ride in tatters, and giving the Rebels a 13-point lead, 39-26. Lee Smethills had better luck in the next.He carried the "Black and White" to victory, but not before he had produced a hard ride off the second bend, passing the Stephan Katt on the outside, whilst Ben Barker challenged on Smethills outside. Smethills left Barker no room at all, and the young Cornishman was squeezed hard against the fence, and forced to shut off.The Rebels may have stretched their lead even further in Heat 13, had Glenn Cunningham not bit the dirt. A level break saw Magnus Zetterstrom lead at the opening bend from Burza. Cunningham produced a great run outside the Pole on the second lap, and stormed by off the fourth turn.As Cunningham took up station behind Zorro he was caught out by a heavy patch of dirt in the middle of the second bend, his bike locked up, and spit him off in a spectacular looking fall, which sent both Glenn, and his machine tumbling down the track.He eventually got to his feet, none the worse for his fall, and walked back to the pits. With the race in the third lap, and Zorro well clear, the race was awarded.Simon Walker should have taken Heat 14, after making a great start in the original running, which ended with Paul Fry's fall, he had to do it all again in the re-run.He made no mistake with another flashing start, and easily lead Michal Makovsky for most of the four laps. Just when victory was in sight his motor went sick, and he just failed to hold off Makovsky by the narrowest margin. Ben Barker, deputising for Fry, took the minor place.The Rebels rounded off the evening with a maximum advantage in the nominated heat. Magnus Zetterstrom shot from the outside gate, leading from Stanislaw Burza, with Glenn Cunningham in third. That order lasted until the fourth bend, when Cunningham cruised around the outside of the Berwick Number 1, and it was all over as a contest.The Rider of the Night award, sponsored by Claire Godfrey, went to Magnus Zetterstrom. Some small consolation after mechanical problems caused him to miss out an another maximum.Paul Fry visited a consultant in Hereford, and a decision was made to operate on his broken leg next Tuesday. The doctors will insert a plate in his left leg to secure the break in his tibia, and they have told him to expect a six to eight week healing process.In the meantime his leg has been replastered from foot to thigh, to stop the knee from bending, as obviously they need to keep the bone straight and still.