THE Somerset Rebels have been hit by the news that their 17 year-old Australian star, Brady Kurtz, faces a lengthy spell on the side-lines having broken his upper arm following a heat 15 coming together with Ipswich’s Richie Worrall in last Friday’s home match against the Witches.

“Brady has sustained a break to his arm between the shoulder and elbow, and has had the arm set in plaster,” said Rebels promoter Debbie Hancock, “he is due to have further x-rays in next few days at hospital in Swindon to see how things are progressing. At this stage it is too early to say for definite how long he will be out of action for, but initial estimates are that it could be for anything up to 6 weeks.”

Despite being without Kurtz, the Rebels moved seven points clear at the top of speedway's Premier League table with what can only be described as a remarkable 50-43 win over Peterborough at the East of England Showground yesterday (Sunday) evening.

Somerset found themselves on the back foot from the off as Peterborough opened up a 10 point lead after the completion of the first three heats of this Premier League encounter.

But despite this, Somerset staged a magnificent fight-back led by skipper Olly Allen, who played a true 'captain's innings' in scoring a five-ride, 15 point maximum, he receiving great support from Nick Morris and reserve Todd Kurtz, who had arguably his best match for the Rebels since joining them at the start of the season.

By heat 8, Somerset had turned that 10 point deficit into a three-point lead, and a great afternoon was complete when Allen and Morris combined for a maximum 5-1 race win in the final heat which ensured the Rebels took the full 4 league points from the match.

"This was a truly great performance by all the boys," said a delighted Garry May, the Somerset team manager afterwards, "the boys really dug deep today to not only overcome the loss of Brady, but to fight-back from being 10 points down after just 3 heats."

"It is always difficult to go into a match when you have a rider out injured, especially when it is someone like Brady who has been riding really well, but the boys really stepped up to the plate today, none more so than Todd [Kurtz], who was just superb, as was Olly [Allen] who really led the front, even though he was still feeling the after-effects from the heavy fall he took in our match against Ipswich on Friday night which caused him to withdraw from that meeting."

"Collecting all four points from tonight's match will make the trip home all the better, especially as it means we have opened up a bit of a gap at the top of the table."

PETERBOROUGH 43: Ales Dryml 10, Ulrich Østergaard 8, Adam Roynon 7, Richard Hall 5+2, Lasse Bjerre 5+1, Max Dilger 5+1, Nicki Barrett 3+2.

SOMERSET 50: Olly Allen 15, Todd Kurtz 14+1, Nick Morris 12+2, Charles Wright 5+2, Pontus Aspgren 3, Paul Starke 1, Brady Kurtz r/r.