PUBLISHED: 13:52 03 April 2006 | UPDATED: 09:05 24 May 2010
SOMERSET Rebels' Premier Trophy match with King's Lynn was delicately poised with just four points separating the teams and with three heats to go, but referee Graham
Somerset Rebels 38 King's Lynn 34SOMERSET Rebels' Premier Trophy match with King's Lynn was delicately poised with just four points separating the teams and with three heats to go, but referee Graham Reeve had no option but to abandon the meeting as rain made riding conditions impossible.Up to that point, fans had been treated to another excellent night's racing, with the Rebels doing just enough to see off the challenge of a strong-looking King's Lynn outfit, who were superbly led by Aussie Kevin Doolan.Utilising rider replacement for injured Pavel Ondrasik, the Rebels took the lead from the outset with a great show of team riding by Magnus Zetterstrom and Paul Fry in Heat 1, but by Heat 3 the scores were level as the visitors hit back with a maximum heat win through Doolan and fellow Aussie Troy Batchelor.A bizarre incident in Heat 5 saw the Rebels lose what could have proved to be valuable points as Paul Fry suddenly slowed while in a commanding lead as he started the last lap. Finding himself at at the back of the field, Fry suddenly took off to pass a disappointing King's Lynn Trevor Harding and at least ensure the home side claimed a share of the points.A maximum heat advantage by Fry and Jamie Smith in Heat 9 proved to be the pivotal point in the match as it took the Rebels eight points aheadd, which proved to be crucial in the final outcome.Heat 10 will surely go down as one of the races of the season at the Oak Tree Arena, as the powerful Doolan-Batchelor combination took the lead, effectively shutting out Somerset skipper Magnus Zetterstrom. A determined ride by the Somerst Number 1 saw him first pick off Doolan and then Batchelor to take the lead, but a superb last bend by Kevin Doolan saw him swoop round the outside to just pip Zetterstrom on the line and inflict Zorro's first defeat at the Oak Tree this season.With the Rebels holding a six-point lead after Heat 11, the heavens opened and track conditions became increasingly difficult. Troy Batchelor won Heat 12 in a time four seconds slower that the previous heat, and this after home reserve Ben Barker had fallen on the last bend while holding a clear lead.After discussions with the referee, both teams agreed it was too dangerous for racing to continue and although each side will feel they were in with a chance of going on to claim victory, the Rebels took a slender lead to next week's meeting at the Norfolk Arena.Former Rebel star Matt Read has announced that he is to stage a farewell meeting at the Oak Tree Arena on September 22.Despite making a miraculous recovery from the horrendous injuries he received during a long track meeting in France in 2004, the Hampshire-based 24-year-old has been advised to call it a day.Rebels No 1, Magnus Zetterstrom, has been selected to ride for the Swedish team to face England in the international match being held at Swindon on April 11."This is fantastic news, not only for myself, but for everyone at Somerset," said a delighted Zetterstrom on hearing the news. "I've had a great start to the season, and to be called up to ride for my country is a great honour."The Rebels look to continue their winning home form this evening when they face Premier League new boys from Mildenhall in the Premier Trophy. While this will be the Fen Tigers first season in the Premier League, they are old adversaries of the Rebels, having been competing in the Conference League together when Somerset were first formed in 2000 and 2001. The action then between the two teams was always keenly contested, and there is no reason to expect anything different on Friday.This will be the first opportunity for the Somerset fans to see new signing Stephan Katt in action. Signed as a replacement for injury victim, Pavel Ondrasik, Katt has always remained a favourite at the Oak Tree Arena since his time as a Rebel in 2003, when he made his UK speedway debut. Ending his first season with 5.33 average, the 26-year-old German comes in to the Somerset team riding at No 2.