SGB Premiership KO Cup
Semi-final first leg
Wolverhampton Wolves 59, Somerset Rebels 31

THE ‘Cases’ Somerset Rebels have left themselves a mountain to climb if they are to progress through to the SGB Premiership KO Cup final, writes Ian Belcher.

They will have to overcome a 28-point first leg deficit when themselves and Wolverhampton reconvene at the Oaktree Arena tomorrow night (September 22) for the second leg of this semi-final tie.

Wolverhampton’s Monmore Green track has not proved to be a happy hunting ground for the Rebels so far this year, and right from the off it was obvious that this was not going to be a case of ‘third time lucky’, as Wolves hit the Rebels hard from the off, opening up a 20-point lead after just six heats.

From thereon in, it was as much a case of damage limitation for Somerset, their cause not being helped when Charles Wright was forced to withdraw from the meeting, a legacy of a heat seven fall when he was wiped out by Wolverhampton’s Mark Riss.

Somerset’s high points from the match were few and far between, with Lewis Kerr’s win over Wolves number 1 Fredrik Lindgren in heat 10 being one of only two heat winners the Rebels were to provide from the 15 heats.

Richard Lawson claimed the other, and he went on to top score for Somerset, with 11 points from his six rides.

Somerset team manager Garry May said afterwards: “We were obviously hoping for a better result than this, but Wolves are a formidable team around their own track and totally dominated us from the off.

“Although we still have the second leg at the Oaktree Arena to come on Friday night, it is advantage Wolves as to who will be going on to the final.

"But we will give it our best shot and will not concede anything until the last points have been won or lost.”

Wolverhampton (59): Freddie Lindgren 15+2, Sam Masters 13+1, Rory Schlein 13, Kyle Howarth 11+3, Nathan Greaves 4+1, Mark Ross 3, Jacob Thorssell r/r.
Somerset (31): Richard Lawson 11, Lewis Kerr 7+1, Paul Starke [guest] 6+1, Jake Allen 3+1, Josh Grajczonek 2+1, Charles Wright 2, Patrick Hougaard r/r.