Speedway: Rebels miss out at Championship League Riders' final
PUBLISHED: 08:33 02 September 2019 | UPDATED: 08:33 02 September 2019
Somerset Rebels duo Nick Morris and Chris Harris both endured mixed fortunes in a largely uninspiring Sunday's Championship League Riders' Final at Sheffield.
Both finished with a win each to their name but neither was able to qualify for the latter stages of the meeting.
Morris suffered a slide-off in his third ride that harmed his chances more than anything, and he finished on six points, whilst a last place from Rebels' skipper Harris in his final outing cost him dearly.
That restricted him to nine points which meant he missed out on countback to Adam Ellis with Richard Lawson also on the same tally.
Redcar's Erik Riss went on to win the meeting, missing out on direct qualification to the final in a ballot as he, Ryan Douglas and Sam Masters all mustered identical 12 points.
But by winning that sixth ride for his fourth win of the afternoon he gained himself an opportunity to go for the title with second-placed Danny King joining the trio in the grand final.
And Riss made no mistake as he withstood a charge from the battling King to make it an individual double for the Redcar Bears, after Charles Wright had won the British Final earlier in the season.
For the Rebels pair, though, attentions switch to another key meeting on Wednesday night when, for the third time this season, the Somerset club will seek to complete the hosting of Edinburgh Monarchs.
The fixture was twice rained-off in August, with the corresponding fixture in the Scottish city having been lost to the weather too in July, and club promoter Debbie Hancock is hoping it will be third time lucky.
"We have been thwarted with our meetings against Edinburgh this season and with the distance between the two clubs it couldn't be much worse, but hopefully the weather will behave itself on Wednesday and we can get our home league programme completed," she said.
"I am very grateful to our loyal sponsors Burnham Portable Toilet Hire who have put their name against this meeting and although the date has changed twice now they are still happy to sponsor the meeting.
"We just want to cement our place in the top four. All the while the other teams have a chance to catch us we cannot afford to take anything for granted but I know that Gazza [Garry May] and the lads are determined to get us into the play-offs."
The Rebels are homing in on securing that top-four place to earn them the right to be in the title-deciding play-offs, but their current points total doesn't make them entirely safe, with the Monarchs one of three clubs who could mathematically still overhaul them.
A home win for Somerset would seriously dent the Monarchs' outside chances, as even with a consolation point they would then need to take maximum points from their three remaining home meetings and win twice away, one of which would have to be by more than six points, and that would be a similar story for both the other two hopeful clubs, Berwick and Sheffield.
With new averages for the month coming into effect, team manager May is obliged to reshuffle his pack as Rory Schlein re-acquires the number one berth.
Edinburgh will continue to have ex-Rebel Sam Masters as their top man but they look to be without Cameron Heeps who is still feeling the effects of his recent crash.
The Rebels' league programme is due to be completed on Friday night when they travel to Edinburgh in the return.
Teams, Somerset: Rory Schlein, Anders Rowe, Chris Harris (C), Nico Covatti, Nick Morris, Luke Harris, Nathan Stoneman.
Edinburgh: Sam Masters, James Sarjeant, Josh Pickering, Ricky Wells (C), Cover for Cameron Heeps, Connor Coles, William Lawson.