Rebels are new league leaders

PUBLISHED: 11:56 16 July 2007 | UPDATED: 11:17 24 May 2010

Somerset's Magnus Zetterstrom leads Birmingham's Ben Powell and teammate Stephan Katt.

Somerset's Magnus Zetterstrom leads Birmingham's Ben Powell and teammate Stephan Katt.

IT was definitely a blue sky scenario for all at the Oak Tree Arena as the Sharp Rebels moved to the top of the Premier League with this comprehensive defeat of the Brummies.

Somerset Rebels 58 Birmingham 32 (aggregate score, Somerset 99, Birmingham 81)IT was definitely a blue sky scenario for all at the Oak Tree Arena as the Sharp Rebels moved to the top of the Premier League with this comprehensive defeat of the Brummies.In saying that, however, in the early heats it looked as if Somerset were going to struggle for the meeting victory, let alone the bonus point, as the Brummies took the match to the home side. But as has been the way in recent weeks with the Rebels, once the team stepped up a gear in the second half, the opposition were, quite simply, blown away.The opening heats saw the visitors restrict Somerset to a mere six-point lead, those heats containing a fair degree of incident.Firstly in the opening race, Ostergaard, trying to make up for a poor start that left him at the back of the field, dived under Katt in what can only be described as a reckless move, bringing Katt to the ground in the process, referee Robbie Perks having no hesitation in excluding Ostergaard from the re-run.Heat 2 saw just why air fences are a must at any level of racing as the four riders arrived at the first turn at the same time, and four into one just simply does not go.The domino effect of this saw Birmingham's Smart being forced out wide and Danny Warwick clipping Smart's back wheel in the process, sending both riders hurtling towards the air fence in a tangled mess of riders and machines. Luckily the air fence did its job, and both riders were able to walk away from what could have been a nasty incident none the worse for wear, although Warwick's bike did manage to cartwheel over the fence, thankfully coming to rest nowhere near any spectators.How Ostergaard must have wished he had stayed in bed that morning as his misfortunes of Heat 1 were compounded in Heat 5 when he was cruising to a dominating win over Emil Kramer when his bike shed a chain entering the first turn on the final lap, bringing the Dane to grief and what looked all over a shared heat became a 5-1 to the Rebels. This stroke of luck seemed to galvanise the home side and from thereon in they just seemed to step up a gear and never gave the opposition a look in as they recorded their biggest Premier League win of the season.While the top five of the Somerset septet did all that was expected of them, it was, again, the reserves who came to the fore with Simon Walker and Danny Warwick showing their class around the Oak Tree Arena. Walker's clash with Ostergaard in Heat 11 being worth the admission money alone as the Dane threw everything at Walker to take the lead, only to find every move he made being repelled by the Bristolian in four laps of wheel to wheel action.Not to be outdone, Warwick produced a storming ride in the following heat to swoop around the outside of the hitherto impressive Nieminen to team up with Kramer and thwart the Brummies tactical move and ensure that all three match points were safely in the Somerset locker.

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