Speedway: Somerset Rebels ready for Eastbourne visit
PUBLISHED: 11:48 23 April 2019 | UPDATED: 11:48 23 April 2019
The Cases Somerset Rebels complete their SGB Championship Shield Southern Grou) fixtures on Wednesday looking to strengthen their qualification chances.
Coming on the back of an impressive away win at Birmingham last Wednesday, victory this week for Somerset over Eastbourne would leave the Eagles needing a similar result when they visit Perry Barr next week.
Team manager Garry May is calling for a big score from his side, that will include the return of captain Chris Harris after he missed the Birmingham trip due to a wrist injury.
“We must not allow the Eagles to leave here with any points in the first instance and of course the bigger the margin of victory the better for us,” said May.
“Like I said at the start of the competition, race points could be key in this group. I am pleased to have 'Bomber' back, he went well in his comeback meeting in France over Easter and had a decent score at Swindon on Monday night so that is a real positive.”
Somerset fans will no doubt be wanting to congratulate their young reserve pairing on their British U21 semi-final achievements since the Rebels last appeared at the Oaktree.
Anders Rowe sealed his place in Saturday's final, to be held at Berwick, and although a burnt out clutch denied Henry Atkins a six-ride Highbridge maximum on Good Friday, which cost the 18 year old his chance to join the last 16, the form he showed was impressive to say the least.
Having packed up in the final and pushed home for fourth, Atkins showed professionalism well above his age, admitting: “Of course I am disappointed to miss out like that but overall I was pleased with the way the meeting went for me.
“I found some good lines out there and hopefully I can use that knowledge this week when we take on Eastbourne. It would have been great to have been going to Berwick this weekend but this is an under-1 competition and I have still a few more years of eligibility and will be looking to become U21 champion over the next three years.”
The Eagles, who make the visit to the OakTree with two former Rebels in Richard Lawson and Lewis Kerr, are unchanged from the side that defeated Somerset 63-27 earlier this month, and with Harris back in the fold for the home side both teams are declared at full strength.
Rebels: Rory Schlein, Todd Kurtz, Valentin Grobauer, Nico Covatti, Chris Harris (capt), Anders Rowe, Henry Atkins. Team manager: Garry May
Eagles: Edward Kennett (Capt), Ben Morley, Lewis Kerr, Alfie Bowtell, Richard Lawson, Georgie Wood, Tom Brennan. Team managers: Will Pottinger, Trevor Geer.
Results: Eastbourne 52 Birmingham 38; Somerset 52 Birmingham 38; Eastbourne 63 Somerset 27; Birmingham 44 Somerset 46.