Rebels cruise to victory

Somerset Rebels 56 Workington Comets 37 - LAST week the Somerset Dickies Rebels were struggling to overcome an early deficit against Scunthorpe, this week they stormed to a 56-37 victory over the Workington Thomas Armstrong Ltd Comets.

Somerset Rebels 56

Workington Comets 37

LAST week the Somerset Dickies Rebels were struggling to overcome an early deficit against Scunthorpe, this week they stormed to a 56-37 victory over the Workington Thomas Armstrong Ltd Comets.

The Rebels were in control right from the gun, with new signing, Lubos Tomicek, making his debut a winning one. He blasted off the line to lead with Ritchie Hawkins in second for a maximum. It was the kind of start the Rebels have been missing over the last few weeks, and it set the tone for the rest of the evening.

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In Heat 2, Craig Cook broke quickly alongside his team-mate John Branney. By the end of the lap Branney was at the rear, as Rebels guest Dakota North powered around the wide line and then Mark Baseby, making his official Rebels debut, cut inside. Cook was away and gone, but dropped a primary chain in the final lap, leaving the home side to add a second full house.

The Rebels rammed home their advantage, Shane Parker, made a superb start to lead Heat 3. Sam Masters was not far away, for another easy 5-1. Heat 4 gave the Comets their first glimmer of hope, but at one point it looked like they would be on the wrong end of another full house. Cory Gathercole, and Dakota North flew from the tapes to lead early, Rusty Harrison was soon on North's case, and through to second spot off the final bend. North did not let him get away, and the pair came together causing North to lock up, and crash. By the time he cleared the track the rest were almost back on him, but Graham Reeve let it go, and in the confusion the race ended with the riders completing five laps, with the result being declared at four, and the Comets taking a share of the points.

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The Rebels piled in five more heat advantages before the Comets had any further joy. Heat 5 saw the field break level, but the Rebels made it a 4-2.

Fourteen points down, Ian Thomas sent out Cook in the Black and White, but the Tomicek-Hawkins combination exploded from the tapes to lead virtually all the way, for their fourth 5-1.

Heat 7 was re-started, Cory Gathercole broke quickly with Chris Schramm, but Gathercole got the upper hand with a big run on the boards. Mark Baseby was slowly away, but rode a great race to slowly reel in Kildemand, and finally muscle his way past on the inside of the second bend of the final lap.

Heat 8 was another to be re-run, with Ritchie Hawkins leading, Dakota North got a big lift off the line, and had to fight his way past Richard Lawson. He chased John Branney hard, but could never quite get on terms with him. Shane Parker made his second great start of the night, only to catch a huge lift off the line and end up in third place. He charged after the Comets pair of Cook and Harrison, coming with a powerful run to account for Harrison off the final bend. Sam Masters was next on Harrison, cruising past him on the inside on the second lap. Parker set off after Cook in the lead, and slowly reeled him in, and Parker was through the inside like a shot, to take the win.

Heat 10 saw the Comets pairing of Schramm and Kildemand make a great gate and Kildemand led all the way. Ritchie Hawkins grabbed second place. With Lubos Tomicek missing the break for the first time, and getting blocked out on the first bend, the Comets took their first heat advantage of the meeting.

They shared the next heat, but could not stop Cory Gathercole leading all the way. He broke quickly and was gone out of sight. Mark Baseby was very slowly away, but made up the ground steadily over the next three laps. Starting the final lap he was close up and challenging, but the Comets pair kept it tight, and never allowed him the opportunity to pounce.

With a 22-point deficit to make up, Ian Thomas resorted to his second tactical move, this time with Schramm as the wearer of the Magic Hat. He was lightning off the gate to lead early from his partner Craig Cook and rewarded with their second heat advantage, 8-1.

Even after conceding the maximum tactical tally the Rebels were guaranteed two league points, and they put the matter beyond doubt in Heat 13 as they scored another full house through of Gathercole and Tomicek.

Shane Parker added a third win to his tally in Heat 14, and the Comets took the final heat win, but could do no more that share the points. The Rebels tracked Cory Gathercole, and gave a well deserved spot to Ritchie Hawkins.

No one at Somerset will be counting their chickens, despite such a marked improvement over the last few weeks' performances. They know there will be more powerful sides than Workington to come, but with what now appears to be forming into a settled team, with the exception of cruciate ligament victim Tommy Allen, the Rebels will be no pushovers at home in the coming season.

Next home match, Friday May 14 v- Sheffield in the Premier League. Tapes up 7:30pm.

Scunthorpe Scorpions 56

Somerset Rebels 40

OVER the past couple of seasons the Somerset Dickies Rebels results at the Eddie Wright Raceway have been up and down, and Bank Holiday Monday's encounter did not fall into the former category as far as the Rebels were concerned.

Both sides fielded depleted sides, with the Scorpions using rider replacement, and Paul Cooper as cover for Joel Parsons and Viktor Bergstrom. The Rebels used Lee Dicken for Brent Werner, and the replacement facility for Steve Boxall.

The Scorpions jumped to an early 14-point lead as they blitzed the Rebels from the gate, taking three 5-1s in the first four heats, coupled with a 4-2 advantage to put the visitors under extreme pressure.

The Rebels first breakthrough came in the re-run of Heat 5. Paul Cooper got a quick start, but he had no answer to Parker's inside move. Sam Masters threw down a challenge in the same place some three laps later, but could not follow his skipper through for the full house.

The Scorpions hit back straight away with two more 4-2s. Ritchie Hawkins looked like he might get in the shake-up in Heat 6, but he came to grief as he tried to round David Howe and take second spot. With his exclusion it was up to Cory Gathercole to share the points, but he was beaten by Jeran Hart.

Sam Masters took second in the next heat, but had looked as though he might be part of the first Rebels 5-1 of the day, until Magnus Karlsson effortlessly guided up the inside of Lee Dicken on the opening bend of Lap 2.

With the Rebels now 16 points down, it was time for Steve Bishop and Gary May to pull the irons out of the fire. Out came the Black and White, covering the helmet of Cory Gathercole, with Ritchie Hawkins in support. The pair shot from the gate to lead off the first turn. Carl Wilkinson took to the boards, flying round the outside, with Hart challenging inside. Hawkins rode a superb race, Wilkinson managed a pass, but only on his team-mate late in the race. The resulting 8-1 to the Rebels cut their deficit to nine points, and for the first time since Heat 2 their shortfall was in single figures.

In Heat 9 they stemmed the flow again as they shared the points, with Cory Gathercole taking his second win. That was enough for the Scorpions, and they banged in two more 4-2s to restore their double figure lead. David Howe took Heat 10 and Heat 11 ended with the same score as the previous heat, and once again it featured a titanic battle over the closing laps. Jeran Hart made a jet propelled start to take a comfortable lead, with Ritchie Hawkins in second.

Hawkins was out again immediately as he partnered Sam Masters in Heat 12. Masters wore the Black and White as the Rebels management team looked to re-close the gap. The pair broke level with the Scorpions pairing, but by the second bend they were in front. Masters led for virtually every yard, with Hawkins in close attendance as the Rebels secured their second 8-1 advantage.

The Rebels were now only six points down, and within touching distance of an away point, but the Scorpions were in no mood to release their grip of the match.

The Rebels looked as though they might share the points in Heat 13, until Magnus Karlsson pulled out a stroke of genius to ensure a maximum advantage..

Heat 14 put any chance of a point out of the Rebels reach, as Jeran Hart and Carl Wilkinson made a fast start to lead off the second bend. Ritchie Hawkins was close up, and dived under Wilkinson down the back straight, but Hart was gone. Mark Baseby, slowly away from the line, steadily closed down Wilkinson, and by Lap 3 he was on Wilkinson's tail, but could not find a way past, chasing him hard to the line.

Heat 15 also went the way of the home side, as David Howe and Magnus Karlsson scored a maximum over Sam Masters, and Cory Gathercole.

Following their recent signing of Lubos Tomicek the Rebels have announced another new rider to their line up, Mark Baseby who comes into the team as replacement for Brent Werner. Baseby (22) has previously ridden at Premier League level for Mildenhall in 2008, and acquitted himself well before injury brought his season to a premature end.

Since then he has been an integral part of the Bournemouth side that won the National League Championship and KO Cup last year, and was named as a member of the Buccaneers side for the current campaign, taking over the captaincy of the team following injury to Jay Herne.

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