Rebels to meet Newport in semis
PUBLISHED: 14:52 23 July 2007 | UPDATED: 11:19 24 May 2010
THE Somerset 'Sharp' Rebels moved effortlessly into the semi-finals of the Knockout Cup with this win over a lack-lustre Edinburgh team that should be grateful
SOMERSET 58 EDINBURGH 32Aggregate: Somerset 99 Edinburgh 80THE Somerset 'Sharp' Rebels moved effortlessly into the semi-finals of the Knockout Cup with this win over a lack- lustre Edinburgh team that should be grateful to reserve Matt Wethers for giving the final score some semblance of respectability.The scorecard saying all you needed to know about this match as the home side provided thirteen of the race winners, five of these being shared by the Rebels reserve pair of Walker and Warwick, with Wethers scoring almost as many points as the rest of his Edinburgh team-mates put together.Only seven points down from the first leg, the Rebels had moved into the lead on aggregate after the opening two heats as they took maximum heat victories, the only surprise being that they had to wait until heat 11 before they recorded their next 5-1 heat win.With the way Stephan Katt had shown a clean pair of heels in the opening heat, the home fans were hoping for a big score from the German before he headed off to France for the final round of the World Longtrack Championship. Unfortunately, it was not to be as in each of his next two rides, having got out of the gate with his partner ahead of the Monarch pairings, Katt's bike proceeded to shed a chain as the riders took to the first turn.In recent weeks, Somerset reserve, Simon Walker, has added some big named scalps to his CV, and he continued in this vein with a stunning victory over Ronnie Correy in heat 7. Correy made a lightening start, but not to be outdone, Walker swept round the outside of the veteran American on the pits bend, and no matter what Correy did to try and find a way back past in to the lead, Walker always had an answer to take the heat victory. Edinburgh could point to the fact that Henrik Moller had to retire from the meeting after his opening ride with a suspected broken toe. In saying this, however, with the ever determined Wethers scoring four points from his two rides in place of Moller, one could argue that his withdrawal from the meeting made little difference.It certainly wasn't Correy's night as he came to grief on the opening bend of heat 12 whilst on a tactical ride, his bike shedding a chain; referee Ronnie Allan excluding Correy for his troubles. In all honesty, however, any points that might have be gained from the 'black and white' ride would have been irrelevant to the final outcome of this match, which Somerset rounded out with consummate ease, Zetterstrom getting his customary home maximum and Emil Kramer dropping just a single point from his five rides. REDCAR BEARS 47 SOMERSET 'SHARP' REBELS 46The Rebels came agonisingly close to a fifth Premier League away win of the season losing at Redcar in a last heat decider by just a single point. The Rebels actually led the meeting for fourteen of the fifteen heats, the only time the home side actually had their noses in front was after the final race to win the match.Somerset started like a proverbial train, going eight points up after just four heats, and although Redcar did put that lead under pressure at differing points of the match, they never really threatened Somerset's grip on the match.A rainstorm after heat 5 left track conditions very tricky, but the Rebels still maintained their advantage and looked to be heading to another famous away victory.The crucial phase came in the final three heats, a shared 3-3 in heat thirteen left the home side no option but to go for broke and they brought in Josh Auty on a tactical substitute ride, the youngster having to start off a 15 metre handicap. By virtue of coming through to win the heat ahead of his partner Chris Kerr, the resultant 8-1 heat win put the home side just a point behind the Rebels with the final race to come.Anything other than a heat advantage for Redcar would have been enough for the Rebels to have recorded that fifth away win in the Premier League, but with Gary Havelock heading home Magnus Zetterstrom and Redcar's James Grieves taking third place ahead of Emil Kramer, the Bears won the match by the narrowest of margins, although it does leave Somerset in excellent position for the bonus point when the two teams meet again at the Oak Tree Arena in September.n Having comfortably seen off Edinburgh in the quarter finals of the Knock Out Cup, the draw has pitted the Rebels against local rival Newport in the semi-finals. Whilst Newport have not had the best of seasons, the Wasps have progressed through to the last four by virtue of victories over Stoke and Berwick in earlier rounds and have shown improved form in recent weeks. "Whilst some might think that we've drawn the easier of the two ties, when you get to this stage of the competition there is no such thing as an easy match," commented Somerset Promoter Mike Golding on hearing of the draw.Somerset will race their home leg of the semi-final on Friday September 28th, but no date has been arranged for when the two sides will meet at Newport's Hayley Stadium. The second semi-final will be contested between the defending champions King's Lynn and the winners of the outstanding quarter final tie between Rye House and the Isle of Wight.
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