THE SOMERSET Rebels cruised to a 47-26 victory over Sheffield last week (September 12) in their final away match of the regular Premier League season, to take them back to the top of the league.
Hopes of the match even getting underway were, however, in some doubt when rain began to fall less than an hour before the scheduled start time, but with the agreement of both teams, the meeting duly began on time.
The Rebels got off to the best possible start with heat advantages in the opening two races; Jason Doyle winning heat 1 with Charles Wright doing like-wise in the following race to give Somerset an early four point lead.
Heat 3 saw Sheffield’s Danny Maaßen fall on lap 2 as he came off the second bend and Ricky Wells, was to suffer the same fate as his team-mate in the re-run.
Referee Peter Clarke once again had to bring proceedings to a halt, he excluding Wells for being the cause of the stoppage before awarding the race to Somerset as a 5-0 heat win.
Things looked ominous as far as the meeting continuing as a result of the two falls, but after consultation with the riders and team managers, remedial action was undertaken on the Owlerton track.
After the delay there were no further falls or incidents in the remaining heats, as Somerset carried on from where they left off before the break to extend their lead.
With conditions getting worse by the minute, the race of the night came in heat 6 when Somerset’s Nick Morris made light of the tricky track surface to make a sublime cut-back on Sheffield guest Richie Worrall, who was out on a double-point tactical ride, to snatch the lead and go on to take his second heat win of the night.
The Rebels then surged into a 23-point lead after securing heat advantages in each of the next five heats, to not only assure themselves of the match win, but also all four league points.
And when heat 12 was completed in a time some nine seconds slower than the opening heat, and with Somerset in an unassailable position, the referee abandoned the meeting with the final three heats still remaining.
But with the match having reached and passing, the requisite ten heats for a result to be declared, it meant that the Rebels travelled back down to the West Country with those 4 precious league points safely tucked away.