Rebels pipped at the post
The Cases Somerset Rebels suffered the cruel heartache in just missing out on winning the Premier League Championship by just one point.
THE Cases Somerset Rebels suffered the cruel heartache in just missing out on winning the Premier League Championship to add to last week’s League Cup triumph when they lost by just a single point on aggregate to the Scunthorpe.
The championship was not being decided until the final heat of the second leg and although Jesper Monberg won the race for the Rebels, guest Richard Hall was unable to find a way past the Scorpions duo of Nick Morris and Josh Auty to get an all-important point that would have given Somerset the title.
They eventually lost on aggregate over the two legs 92-91.
Holding a five point lead from the first leg at the Oaktree Arena, the Rebels kept things tight in the opening heats of the second leg, so much so that it wasn’t until heat seven that Scunthorpe finally overcame that first leg deficit.
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If the home fans held any thoughts that their side would pull away for a comfortable winning performance, they were quickly dashed as the Rebels hit back in heat nine with a maximum race win to put themselves back into the aggregate lead.
The next few heats saw first Scunthorpe back in front, but yet again the Rebels refused to yield and going into the final three heats, Somerset held a narrow one point lead.
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A 4-2 race win to Scunthorpe in heat 13 saw the pendulum swing back the way of the Scorpions once again, and a share of the spoils in the penultimate race meant that Somerset needed a heat advantage in the final race in order to snatch the championship trophy away from the home side.
With Auty and Morris effectively shutting out Hall, despite the valiant efforts of the Rebels’ guest, it meant that the Premier League Championship trophy would be residing in North Lincolnshire for the 2013 season. Scunthorpe winning on the night 48-42 to give them that one point aggregate win.
Afterwards Somerset promoter Debbie Hancock put aside the disappointment of Somerset’s defeat to congratulate winners Scunthorpe, as well as pay tribute to her own team for their efforts not just on the night but over the season as a whole.
She said: “Many congratulations are due to all associated with Scunthorpe, the promotion, the riders and their fans on their title. Both legs made for a pulsating play-off final, one that I feel was a credit to the Premier League with both sides more than playing their part in making it one to remember.
The Rebels won the first leg 49-44 at the Oaktree Arena, with Scunthorpe keeping things tight thanks to an 8-1 victory in heat 11 and a 5-1 in the penultimate race, just as the Rebels appeared to be extending their lead.
In the Premier League Cup final second leg, Somerset lost to Ipswich 51-42, but thanks to their 53-39 first leg victory at the Oaktree Arena, the Rebels took the honours.