SOMERSET Rebels kicked off their League Cup campaign this week with a win and a tie against Ipswich Witches and Rye House.

On Friday, the Oaktree Arena played host to the first competitive meeting which saw the Rebels claim a 57-37 win over their Essex counterparts.

The Rebels got off to a flying start as Jason Doyle, Tom Perry and Stefan Neilsen claimed wins to give their team a 17-7 lead after four heats.

Ipswich closed the gap to eight points after eight heats thanks to a 5-3 tactical ride win in heat five and a 4-2 win in heat seven.

But the Rebels all but wrapped the win up when two maximum 5-1 wins in heats nine and ten thanks to wins for Doyle and Josh Grajczonek which gave them a 40-22 lead.

Ipswich recorded their only maximum win of the night in heat 14 but by that stage the encounter was already won and the Rebels finished on a high as Alex Davies crossed the line first with Grajczonek close behind him.

Then on Saturday, Somerset travelled to Rye House and came away with a 45-45 draw - a good result considering Rye House has never been a happy hunting ground in the past for Somerset.

The match fell into three distinct sections with Somerset having the better of the initial stages as they opened up an early six point lead.

That all changed as the Rockets hit back to turn a deficit into a four-point lead, a 4-2 in heat seven was followed by two maximum race wins for the home side to put them 29-25 to the good.

But cometh the hour, cometh the man, and heat 11 was definitely Davies' 'hour', though not once but twice to keep the Rebels in touch with the Rockets.

Heat 13 saw the Rockets edge ahead but once again the Rebels fought back with Kyle Newman coming to the fore with a crucial win.

Heading into the final heat, the scores were 42-42 and Doyle was stranded on the start-line, his bike shedding a chain as the tapes rose, but Nick Morris produced probably the ride of his life to take the lead on the final bend to end the meeting 45-45.

* THE Rebels will be looking to build on the excellent start in the defence of their League Cup crown when they travel to Ipswich on Thursday night and welcome Rye House to the Oaktree Arena on Friday night.