Rebels take a hit from the Comets

PUBLISHED: 09:45 10 June 2011

Somerset Rebels drop down to third position after three defeats.

FOLLOWING their shock defeat in the live Sky TV match, the Somerset ‘Dickies’ Rebels next two matches were on the road, with the first of these being a match against the high-flying Workington Comets.

The Rebels got off to the worst possible start, conceding two 5-1s in as many heats. Christian Hefenbrock showed what a great gater he is, leaving the rest for dead as he led from the start of heat three, but Rusty Harrison executed a superb cut back on the final bend to take the win right on the line.

The Rebels got back in the game in heat four, as James Holder and Cory Gathercole took the honours. The Comets responded quickly, hammering home their own full house in the next heat.

Two shared heats followed, with the Rebels providing the winners of each. Cory Gathercole took heat six, leading from the tapes and Christian Hefenbrock was well clear at the flag in heat seven.

Hefenbrock was back out again in heat eight to take the replacement ride, but he found one too good for him in Richard Lawson.

The advantage gained by the Comets put the Rebels into tactical country and the management team wasted no time in sending Gathercole out wearing the ‘Black and White’, but was headed home by Harrison.

Heat 10 saw Sam Masters and Hefenbrock beaten to the line by Lawson, with Comets’ youngster Kenny Ingalls retiring late in the race. In the next heat, Lawson was well clear, with Travis McGowan taking second.

The Rebels were sharp from the gate in heat 12, with Gathercole leading at the tapes from James Holder. The pair pulled out a small lead over Ingalls, but a mechanical problem that caused Holders unplanned trip to the outer reaches of the final bend, as his throttle came loose midway through the final two turns to deny the Rebels the maximum advantage at a crucial time.

Heat 13 compounded the Rebels bad luck from the previous heat as they banged in fourth 5-1 of the match, as Rusty Harrison and Gary Irving out-gated Gathercole and McGowan.

The Rebels raised the ‘Black and White’ for a second time in heat 14, with Masters the wearer on this occasion. Masters took the tapes to take a share of the points as Holder struggled around with a broken exhaust. Those shared points were enough for the home side to take all the match points.

The nominated heat saw Hefenbrock and Gathercole come to the tapes with Richard Lawson and Rusty Harrison in opposition. The Rebels took second and third places behind Lawson, giving the Rebels a share of the race points.

With Dakota North still on the injured list and a couple of riders not yet fully back on the pace, the reserves battle was vitally important, but the Comets had the edge in that department.

The following day at Newcastle, the Rebels lost by just three points (48-45) which saw the team earn a point for their troubles, which keeps them in third place in the Premier League table.

■ The Rebels take a break from team action tomorrow (Fri) as the Oak Tree Arena stages the Somerset Open Championship, reviving a meeting that was last staged in 2003 when Sweden’s David Ruud won the title.

With a couple of confirmations still outstanding, the line-up currently features riders drawn mainly from both the Elite and Premier Leagues, and confirmed starters are the Wolverhampton trio of Ty Proctor, Ricky Wells and Tyson Burmeister, who are joined by Kevin Doolan and Taylor Poole, who both ride for Ipswich in the Premier League, Newcastle’s Kyle Newman and Jaimie Pickard from National League side the Stoke Potters.

With Dakota North still out on the injured list, the six remaining Somerset riders, namely Travis McGowan, Cory Gathercole, Sam Masters, Christian Hefenbrock, James Holder and Alex Davies will complete the field for what promises to be an exciting night of action.

“At the time of speaking we are still awaiting a couple of Elite League riders to get back to us to confirm their participation,” said club promoter Debbie Hancock.

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