Rebels storm to seventh home win on the trot

PUBLISHED: 17:10 02 May 2006 | UPDATED: 09:12 24 May 2010

Somerset 53 Rye House 42.

Somerset 53 Rye House 42.

IF challenges matches are thought to be dull, boring, affairs with little action, then somebody forgot to tell these two teams as they played their part in providing the fans with an entertaining night's racing

IF challenges matches are thought to be dull, boring, affairs with little action, then somebody forgot to tell these two teams as they played their part in providing the fans with an entertaining night's racing. While Somerset were never really troubled in recording their seventh straight home victory of the season, Rye House certainly fought hard to restrict any advantage they might take for tomorrow's return fixture. Zetterstrom and Cunningham recorded paid maximums, but certainly did not have things their own way, Cunningham having to make one of his trademark outside passes in Heat 11 to take both Brady and Courtney round the third and fourth turns.The early stages saw the Rebels build up a 10-point lead after six heats, forcing Rye House to use Kennett as a tactical ride in Heat 7. However, with Cunningham having probably his best meeting of the season so far, the tactical move only produced a two-point advantage to the visitors as they took their first of only three race advantages. Having suffered with mechanical gremlins in the past few weeks, Somerset's Paul Fry must have thought he had turned the corner with trouble-free runs in his opening two races, but then lady luck deserted him again in Heat 9 as his clutch cable snapped as the bikes left the tapes, causing him to loop and suffer an awkward fall that proved to be not just painful physically, but also financially as it left him with a badly damaged bike.Rye House took advantage of Fryer's misfortune to close the gap further to just six points, but over the course of the next four heats Somerset extended this out to 14 points with just two heats remaining. Just when it looked like the Rebels could be taking a sizeable lead back to Hoddesdon, Allen made full use of a tactical ride in Heat 14 and with Fry still feeling the effects of his earlier fall, Boxall followed his partner over the line and suddenly 14 points had been cut to eight. However, the normal service was resumed as far as the home fans were concerned in Heat 15 as Zetterstrom and Cunningham combined again to record their second maximum heat win in the course of three heats, and leave the Rebels with an 11 victory on the night.Somerset 91 Mildenhall 97THE Somerset Mike Manning Audio Rebels arrived in Suffolk for their match with Mildenhall with the chance of securing a Premier Trophy semi-final berth, however, things did not go to plan and any progress in this competition now lies in the hands of others. With Somerset defending a seven-point lead from last month's meeting at the Oak Tree Arena, there was an hour's delay before the match got under way, due to a combination of weather and an electrical problem with the starting gate and the safety lights around the track.Once the meeting did get under way, the Rebels gave a good account of themselves in the early exchanges, and took the lead in Heat 5, courtesy of a 4-2 advantage by Magnus Zetterstrom and Glen Phillips. Unfortunately, after that initial cheer, things started to go horribly wrong for Somerset as Mildenhall recorded four maximum heat advantages in the next five heats to give them not only the lead in the match, but also in the race for the bonus point.Somerset team manager Mick Bell then nominated Zetterstrom for double points in Heat 11, and the captain did not let the team down, taking the race victory, his third from three starts, and with partner Phillips securing third place, the Rebels were back in the hunt. Further astute use of the tactical ride in the following race, with this time Stephan Katt and Simon Walker clawing back two points from the opposition, it now meant the aggregate scores were tied at 88-all, although Mildenhall held the upper hand in the match itself, leading 42-35 with three heats remaining.The home Fen Tigers side then crucially took a crucial two point aggregate advantage in the penultimate heat 14, leaving the Rebels needing to score a maximum 5-1 in the final race to steal the bonus point, and a 4-2 would result in a run-off for the bonus point. Unfortunately for the small band of travelling Rebel fans, Zetterstrom was beaten into the first corner by the opposition riders, and any Somerset hopes of heading back to the West Country with a bonus point disappeared.Having concluded their Premier Trophy group matches, the Rebels turn their attention to Premier League action with tonight's (Fri) visit of the Workington Comets to the Oak Tree Arena.The Comets have started the 2006 season in excellent fashion, dominating the Northern Section of the Premier Trophy, having already qualified for a semi-final berth, and will provide tough opposition for the Rebels in their quest for their first Premier League points.n Sponsorship packages for Matt Read's Farewell Speedway meeting to be held at Somerset's Oak Tree Arena on September 22 are now available for anyone interested in supporting Matt in this special event.Matt, who suffered life threatening injuries in a crash during a longtrack meeting at Morizes, France, in September 2004, is one the unsung heroes of speedway and deserves the support of the speedway community for his farewell meeting.Further details of the packages available can be obtained by contacting Matt at matt152claire@tiscali.co.uk

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