Rebels remain Premier League leaders

Somerset Rebels recorded two more wins to stay top of the Premier League

Leicester 40

Somerset 50

SITTING proudly at the top of the table, the Somerset ‘Dickies’ Rebels travelled to Beaumont Park, home of the re-incarnated Leicester Lions, for their latest Premier League fixture.

As the tapes rose for the first heat, Sergey Darkin trapped level with John Oliver and Dakota North. Darkin went on to win the heat with North and Kevin Doolan following him home.

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The second heat went to Jan Graversen, with North again in second followed by Jamie Courtney and James Holder.

The Rebels tied it up immediately, as Christian Hefenbrock flew from the line to lead all the way in heat three. Sam Masters came home third, just behind Richard Hall. Holder was second to Richard Sweetman in heat four, with Cory Gathercole bringing up the rear.

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The Rebels moved into the lead when they hammered home a full house in heat five. North and Doolan posting the maximum points. The Rebels increased the lead over the next two heats as they posted a couple of 2-4 advantages with Hefenbrock winning twice.

Hefenbrock was out again in heat eight, but this time he brought up the rear, but partner North pulled clear for an easy victory, and a shared heat. Heat nine saw the Lions cut the deficit by two points as Gathercole took second place, while Holder retired on the final lap.

Hefenbrock and Masters have been firing in the maximums at the Oak Tree Arena, and they added one at Beaumont Park in heat 10. Two shared heats followed as the Lions stemmed the flow of points heading in the Rebels direction.

With the winning line in sight for the Rebels, the Lions dealt another blow in heat 13, as they again took a 4-2 advantage to cut the Rebels lead to just six points with two heats to go.

In heat 14, North’s machine died and he managed to get it started in time, but was back on the 15 metre line. Masters rode a superb race to come home first, with North at the rear.

With the Rebels now certain of three points for the away win, they were looking to take a heat advantage in the final race, to ensure they left Beaumont Park with all four points for a win in excess of six points.

The Lions had no answer to the power of Masters and Doolan, who added a third maximum advantage to the Rebels scorecard.

Whilst everyone contributed valuable points, the stars of the show were Christian Hefenbrock, Sam Masters and the top scoring Dakota North, who marked his elevation to the main body, with a 12-point return from his six rides.

Somerset 53

Newcastle 43

FORMER Rebel Jason Doyle returned as a rider replacement and recorded a superb 15-point full maximum on his return to the Oak tree Arena in Rebels colours.

Doyle’s return got off to a perfect start, but the same couldn’t be said of Dakota North, who was returning after a short injury break.

In heat one as rider replacement for Kyle Hughes, who is still not fully fit, North was excluded, but in the re-run Doyle recorded an easy victory from Derek Sneddon and Sergey Darkin

North showed no ill effects as he came to the tapes in heat two, and flew to the front. He was backed up by James Holder to record the first maximum of the night.

In heat three, Nedermark broke quickly from Sam Masters, and Christian Hefenbrock. Hefenbrock could not better the young Dane, but Masters was excluded after contact.

The blow of his exclusion was probably softened for Masters, by the presentation of a �500 cheque from SREF before the meeting, to help with repairs to his badly damaged bike following his heavy fall at Scunthorpe on Monday.

The next heat saw the Diamonds cut the deficit to just two points as Matej Ferjan holding off Cory Gathercole, with James Holder bringing up the rear.

Heat five saw the Rebels duo of Masters and Hefenbrock fly off the tapes, and win unchallenged with a superb display of team riding. Another maximum advantage followed in heat six, as Doyle and North triumphed.

With North taking the place of Hughes in heat six, Steve Bishop and Gary May sent out Jimmy Holder to take North’s place in heat seven, and what a swap it proved to be. Holder blazed off the line to lead every yard of the way. Behind him, Gathercole sat on the tail of Holder, riding shotgun for the Rebels skipper right to the finish, to blast in a third 5-1 on the trot for the Rebels.

The switch back to North came in heat eight, where he took Holders place, with a similar result to the previous race, with North and Hefenbrock taking the honours.

The Newcastle riders never gave up fighting, and started a recovery in the next heat that almost brought them an away point. Ferjan got the better of the Hefenbrock and Kyle Newman forced Masters to the back and the Diamonds cut the deficit by two points.

A shared heat followed as Doyle continued his unbeaten run, with Holder never getting into the race. Heat 11 was also shared, with Darkin holding off Gathercole and North.

Sixteen points down, George English sent out Claes Nedermark on a tactical for heat 12. Nedermark took full advantage, racing clear from James Holder. Newman took third, giving the Diamonds a 7-2 advantage, cutting their deficit to 11 points.

The Rebels hit back immediately, with a maximum advantage in heat 13. It was that man Doyle again, who was well backed up by Gathercole to give the Rebels a full house.

With two heats to go, despite being 15-points down the Diamonds could still salvage a point and in heat 14 they took a step closer to doing just that as they sent out Stuart Robson wearing the ‘Black and White’.

As the tapes rose Robson was quickly away, with the Rebels pair of Masters and North for company. Robson came home first to give the Diamonds a lifeline of a 2-7 advantage, cutting the Rebels advantage to 10 points.

The Diamonds needed the full complement of points to take an away point, so the advantage was with the Rebels on that score, especially as they tracked the unbeaten Doyle, alongside Gathercole in heat 15.

It was to no avail as the heat was shared, the Rebels denied the visitors a point, and took the full set for themselves, firing them back to the top of the league.

It was a triumphant return in Rebels colours for Jason Doyle, whose faultless full maximum not only helped the Rebels to victory, but also won him the ‘Rider of the Night’ award from meeting sponsors, ‘Utility Advice Bureau’.

The next home match is tomorrow (Fri) against Newport in the Premier League. Tapes up 7.30pm.

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