Rebels tame the Tigers
Somerset speedway stars bring down the defending champions
Somerset Rebels 58 Glasgow Tigers 34
WITH almost two weeks of solid rain in the West Country, and across the rest of the UK, the Somerset Rebels flew the flag for the second tier of speedway when they became the sole Premier League club able to complete their fixture last Friday night.
With the track in surprisingly good condition, considering the amount of water it had received since the Rebels were last able to run a fortnight ago, the fans were treated to some superb racing.
The Tigers, reigning Premier League Champions, have struggled this year, and arrived at the Oak Tree Arena on the back of a heavy defeat against Ipswich the previous night.
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The Rebels produced a superb all round team performance, with everyone getting in the points. Despite the lopsided looking score, the meeting produced some terrific action and, as well as the riders, a great deal of credit should go to Ez Curtis and the track staff, who not only produced a great racetrack in the face of some truly awful weather, but maintained it in tip top condition, despite the very strong drying wind that blew all day and all night.
Joe Screen put on a superb display for the Tigers, top scoring with 15 points. For the Rebels, top of the charts was Jason Doyle, with 13+1, dropping only a single point to an opponent. He was followed by Sam Masters, whose 12+2 sent him to Berwick for Saturday evening’s Grand Prix qualifier in fine fettle.
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James Wright also posted 12 points in a performance that netted him the Rider of the Night award. He was also one of four riders who shared in a windfall from the Somerset Speedway Riders Equipment Fund. He and Alex Davies received �500 each, with Kyle Newman and Tom Perry each getting �250 to add to the �250 they had collected earlier in the season.
Rye House Rockets 48 Somerset Rebels 42
Six weeks ago the Rebels left Hoddesdon with an historic first Premier League level win in a rain affected match, and whilst the weather relented on this occasion, the Rebels were not able to repeat that feat.
The home side came into the encounter without their top man, Charlie Gjedde, who was still injured after trapping his foot under Freddie Lindgren’s engine in Monday’s Sky TV offering. The Rebels were without Sam Masters, on FIM Grand Prix qualifying duty, and the injured Claus Vissing. The Rockets tracked Ricky Wells in place of Gjedde, with the Rebels running with Josh Auty for Masters, and, as on Friday, rider replacement for Vissing.
The Rebels actually took 10 heat wins to the Rockets’ five, but could not fill enough minor places to take the win, despite battling hard all night.
The scoresheet was topped with a superb 14-point haul by Jason Doyle, closely followed by Josh Auty’s 13+1. Alex Davies returned a confidence boosting nine, including two heat wins, with the scoring completed by Tom Perry posting a great six point tally from reserve.
The Rebels will be looking to exact quick revenge for their defeat at Rye House when the Rockets land at the Oaktree Arena tomorrow (Fri), with the action starting at 7.30pm.
* Sam Masters finished in a superb second place in his Grand Prix qualification meeting held at Berwick on Saturday, the Somerset rider overcoming poor conditions and a competitive line-up to claim his place on the rostrum.
The meeting was run with rain falling throughout most of the 20 heats, making the track very difficult, but that proved to be no barrier to the 21-year-old Masters who scored 12 points from his five rides to finish behind current British Grand Prix star, Chris Harris. Sam then defeated Elite League rider Danny King in a run-off to determine the two remaining places on the podium.