Rebels take the sting out of the Wasps

Somerset Rebels 47 Newport Wasps 43 - ALTHOUGH still in the early weeks of the season the Somerset Dickies Rebels were meeting the Newport Darlows Wasps for the third time, in this Premier Trophy clash.

Somerset Rebels 47

Newport Wasps 43

ALTHOUGH still in the early weeks of the season the Somerset Dickies Rebels were meeting the Newport Darlows Wasps for the third time, in this Premier Trophy clash.

The Wasps, still without injury victim Alex Davies, had booked 2009 Rebel Justin Sedgmen for this, and Sunday's return leg. Since his winter move to Birmingham, Sedgmen has been firing in the points for the Brummies, and his presence in the Wasps side was sure to cause problems.

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The Wasps dominated the opening stages as Craig Watson and Leigh Lanham left Rebels skipper Shane Parker and Brent Werner for dead in Heat 1 for a bloodless 5-1.

In Heat 2, Sedgmen led Ritchie Hawkins home with Wasps' Todd Kurtz ahead of Tommy Allen.

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The Rebels recorded their first advantage in Heat 3, as Kyle Legault, Sam Masters and Steve Boxall broke level. Boxall won, Legault second and Masters third.

Over the next three heats the Wasps pressed home their advantage to pull out an eight-point lead by Heat 6. Kim Nilsson recorded the Wasps third win taking Heat 4 with a fast start. Todd Kurtz put the visitors on a 5-1 as he dropped in behind Nilsson.

Heat 5 was shared as Leigh Lanham just got the better of Steve Boxall with Sam Masters in third place.

Justin Sedgmen powered off the tapes with Kim Nilsson on his shoulder in Heat 6, but Rebels skipper Shane Parker passed Nilsson on the final lap.

Now eight points down, and with Wasps riding extremely well, it was getting a bit squeaky for the Rebels, and they needed answers. Enter Ritchie Hawkins and Cory Gathercole. Hawkins exploded from the tapes to lead and Gathercole passed Legault for a Rebels full house.

Steve Bishop swapped the reserves in Heat 8, sending out Hawkins, but this was immediately countered as Kevin Brown introduced Sedgmen for Kurtz. Hawkins powered past Craig Watson and with Watson taking third.

Heat 9 saw Steve Boxall added his second victory with Sam Masters in second for a much needed 5-1. A second heat advantage quickly followed for the Rebels as the skipper got the better of Kyle Legault Ritchie Hawkins in third

Back on level terms at 30-30, the Rebels suffered another huge blow as Newport slammed in another 5-1 in Heat 10, Craig Watson and Leigh Lanham doing the damage.

Heat 12 proved to be a crucial stage of the match, as the Rebels put together a run of points that was to eventually prove too much for the Wasps. Justin Sedgmen lost his front shock on the line and had to retire, Sam Masters and Ritchie Hawkins taking the honours.

Heat 13 put the Rebels further in front as Cory Gathercole and Shane Parker registering a 5-1 and Heat 14 put the matter beyond doubt with the Rebels hammering in their third maximum on the trot, Ritchie Hawkins and Steve Boxall. The Rebels were now set to take all three points on offer, but the Wasps had a final sting in their tail as the took a maximum of their own in Heat 15 was re-run after Cory Gathercole fell in the opening turn of start one. Leigh Lanham and Justin Sedgmen led all the way. Gathercole gave chase, but could never peg back the flying Wasps, as the visitors snatched a point

Newport Wasps 57

Somerset Rebels = 37

THE Rebels left their gating boots at home, and paid the price. The emphasis on quick getaways at the Hayley Stadium was illustrated as there were only four meaningful passes all day, and one of those was gifted when a Sam Masters lock-up hampered his race partner, and allowed Justin Sedgmen to pass the pair to foil a Somerset full house.

Shane Parker got the Rebels off to a great start in Heat 1, leading from the first turn he was never troubled as he pulled out a good lead from the Newport top pairing of Craig Watson and Leigh Lanham. Ritchie Hawkins looked to have supplied the Rebels second heat winner in quick succession, as he broke first to lead with Tommy Allen close up, but were passed by Justin Sedgmen.

Over the next three heats the Rebels hardly got in a blow as they succumbed to a 5-1 and 4-2, sandwiching a shared heat to leave the Wasps eight points to the good at Heat 5..

Heat 6 saw the Rebels take their first of two genuine heat advantages, with Ritchie Hawkins and Cory Gathercole getting super starts to lead into the first turn, but Leigh Lanham grabbed second place from Gathercole to thwart the Rebels maximum.

From here on in the points went in the direction of the home team, with a couple of tactical exceptions. The Wasps took advantages in Heats 7 and 8, with a 4-2 and 5-1 respectively. Justin Sedgmen added his second win in Heat 7, quickly followed by a paid win in the next race.

Steve Bishop sent out Cory Gathercole in the Black and White in Heat 9, in an attempt to cut the now 12-point deficit and took a 5-3 advantage.

Steve Boxall got the better of a level break to lead Heat 10 at the opening bend. Sam Masters made a good start, but lifted, He recovered enough to challenge and pass Craig Watson and closed down on Leigh Lanham, but could not pass to give the Rebels the maximum they so badly needed.

Heat 11 went to the Wasps 5-1, as Kim Nilsson and Justin Sedgmen flew from the gate

The Rebels were back to 12 points in arrears, and the tactical option was again used, this time with Sam Masters being the man for the job. Masters and Hawkins shot off the line to take up a 5-1 position with Sedgmen in behind. Sedgmen shot past the pair to gie the visitors a 5-3 advantage.

Cory Gathercole looked to have made a stunning start in Heat 13, but the referee called the field back for a second try. In the re-run, Gathercole had no answer once Lanham and Nilsson got the better of the opening bend. The next two heats went to the home side as they wrapped up the meeting with 4-2 and 5-1 advantages, to take the meeting by 20 points..

The Rebels will now regroup and set about trying to secure second spot in this Premier Trophy group. That process will start on Friday, with the re-scheduled running of the previously rained off encounter with Rye House, and then continue with a visit to Saddlebow Road to take on the Kings Lynn Stars on the following Wednesday.

Next home match is Friday, April 23 v Rye House, Premier Trophy, tapes up 7:30pm.

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