Rebels polish off Diamonds

THE only blot on the Somerset Sharp Rebels recent northern tour came at Newcastle's tight Brough Park circuit, when they were defeated 55-37, after taking valuable away points at Scunthorpe and Working

Somerset Rebels 54

Newcastle Diamonds 39

THE only blot on the Somerset Sharp Rebels recent northern tour came at Newcastle's tight Brough Park circuit, when they were defeated 55-37, after taking valuable away points at Scunthorpe and Workington on the previous two nights.

In the return leg a the Oak Tree Arena they exacted revenge for that defeat in equally emphatic style, handing out a 54-39 beating to the Newcastle Sapphire Engineering Diamonds to take three more Premier League points.


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Following the early exchanges there was nothing between the teams at the conclusion of the third heat, but the Rebels had taken the most heat wins.

The meeting started with a full house for the home side as Emil Kramer and Simon Walker took the heat with some ease.

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The Diamonds hit straight back in Heat 2 as they sped to a 5-1 of their own despite a fast start by Tom Brown, Adam McKinna and Craig Branney taking the honours.

Heat 3 was shared, Cory Gathercole winning over Diamonds' Jason King and Derek Sneddon.

The Rebels did not let the grass grow under their feet as they hammered home a second 5-1 in Heat 4, Justin Sedgmen and skipper Steve Johnston doing the honours. Heat 5 was shared when Cory Gathercole added his second straight win of the night over Trent Leverington and Kenni Larsen.

The following two heats saw the Rebels further extend their lead, with a 5-1 and 4-2 advantage respectively. Emil Kramer and Simon Walker repeated their opening heat maximum in Heat 6.

Former Rebels favourite Jason King broke quickly in Heat 7 to race to the bend with Steve Johnston who won, with Tom Brown in third.

Simon Walker added a win to his couple of second place finishes as he stormed from third place to the lead in the first half of the opening lap in Heat 8, with Trent Leverington in second as the heat was shared.

With the Diamonds' deficit now standing at 10 points, 29-19, George English sent out his new recruit Rene Bach in the Black and White in a quest for double points. Bach produced a stunning ride to defeat the Rebels' man of the moment, Cory Gathercole, with Adam McKinna in third, reducing the deficit to five points with a 7-2 advantage.

That was it as far as the Diamonds resistance was concerned, with the Rebels not giving up another advantage for the remainder of the meeting. They immediately extended the lead by another two points, with Emil Kramer taking Heat 10 from Derek Sneddon with Simon Walker in third.

The next two heats were shared, with one win going to each side. Steve Johnston took Heat 11 from Kenni Larsen and Trent Leverington.

Jason King rolled back the years as he took the win in Heat 12 from Tom Brown and Justin Sedgmen.

The Rebels put the result beyond any doubt when they fired in their fourth maximum of the night in Heat 13, Steve Johnston and Emil Kramer doing the damage. Derek Sneddon had a shock victory in Heat 14, when he took the scalp of Cory Gathercole and Tom Brown.

The Rebels finished off the nominated heat with a fifth 5-1, but not before Rene Bach had almost spoiled the party until he dropped a chain. Emil Kramer broke first and was soon joined by Johno, but Bach took the lead in the third lap.

League racing will now take a back seat for a couple of weeks as the Oak Tree Arena, on the eve of the British Speedway Grand Prix at Cardiff, will host the Premier League Pairs Championship on Friday, tapes up 7.30pm.

It is the third time Somerset has staged this prestigious event and they will be looking to go one better than last year's runners-up spot and lift the trophy for the first time in their albeit relatively short history.

The Rebels will be represented by their top two riders of the season so far, Steve Johnston and Emil Kramer.

Any perceived home track advantage for the Somerset duo will be nullified by the fact that the competition brings together the top two riders from 10 out of the Premier League's 14 teams, and so every race will be the equivalent of a last heat decider in a normal league fixture.

Fans will be treated to 24 heats of racing of the highest quality. With a large crowd expected to descend on the Oak Tree Arena, spectators are advised to arrive early.

n The next away match is on July 17 versus Edinburgh in the Premier League, tapes up 7.30pm.

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