THE Somerset Rebels are the 2015 Premier League KO Cup Champions after beating the Edinburgh Monarchs 92-88 on aggregate.
The Rebels went into the second leg at Edinburgh’s Armadale home holding an eight-point lead from Tuesday’s first leg at the Oaktree Arena.
But that lead was wiped out after just two heats of the second leg with Edinburgh hitting home maximum heat wins in each of the opening two races to bring the aggregate scores level.
To their credit, however, the Rebels did not buckle under this initial Monarch onslaught and contained Edinburgh, to the extent that the Monarchs were only two points to the good on aggregate by the halfway stage.
Somerset’s Paul Starke celebrated his elevation into the main body of the team with two crucial race wins in heats five and eight to restrict the home side.
“What can I say,” said a jubilant Garry May, the Somerset team manager afterwards.
“The boys were superb, every one of them, Starkey [Paul Starke] was magnificent while Richie [Worrall] was just awesome and Josh Grajczonek kept picking up vital points for us, as did Wrighty [Charles Wright] while Rasmus [Jensen] turned his evening around to combine with Charles and Richie for those 5-1’s in heats 12 and 14.
“It could have been so easy for their heads to drop after conceding those two 5-1’s in the first two heats, but they stuck at it and didn’t let Edinburgh get away from us before coming back at the in the latter heats.
“I know it probably turned a few heads when I took Brady out of his final ride in heat 13 and put Luke Chessell in, but I was looking at the bigger picture, and after discussing it with Brady, he was happy to give up his ride in heat 13 for the good of the team, and luckily the move paid off and we are bringing the KO Cup back to Somerset.”
EDINBURGH 47: Craig Cook 13+2, Justin Sedgmen 11, Sam Masters 11, Rob Branford 5, Erik Riss 4, Max Clegg 3+1, Kevin Wolbert r/r SOMERSET 43: Paul Starke 10, Richie Worrall 9+1, Rasmus Jensen 9+1, Josh Grajczonek 7, Charles Wright 6+2, Brady Kurtz 2, Luke Chessell 0