THE Somerset Rebels hopes of an unprecedented fourth successive Premier League Championship Grand Final came to an end when they were defeated by the Glasgow Tigers 91-89 on aggregate.
The Rebels took the tie into a last heat decider at the Peugeot Ashfield Stadium before they finally lost out to the Tigers.
Going into the second-leg six points up from Friday night’s first-leg match at the Oaktree Arena, Somerset saw their slender advantage wiped out after just four heats.
But as was the case last week when winning the KO Cup against Edinburgh, the Rebels fought back and a maximum 5-1 race win in heat five courtesy of Brady Kurtz and Paul Stake, saw Somerset regain the aggregate lead, albeit by just two points.
Two drawn heats were to follow to maintain Somerset’s narrow lead before a 4-2 race win in heat eight for the Rebels took their aggregate lead out to four points, that being maintained as the meeting reached its two-thirds distance.
Like two boxers standing toe to toe slugging it out, first one side seemed to gain the upper hand before the other responded like-wise and heat 11 saw Glasgow hit home a maximum 5-1 race win to put the Tigers into a six-point lead on the day, which brought the two sides level on aggregate.
But once again Somerset immediately hit back to move back into the aggregate lead with a 4-2 race win in heat 12.
That lead, however, was to be a short-lived lone, as Glasgow responded with a 4-2 of their own in heat 13 to bring the aggregate scores back level once again.
Crucially, a Richie Worrall race win for Somerset in heat 14, this after race partner, guest rider Jonas B Andersen had been excluded in the initial running of the race, kept things level as far as the overall tie was concerned, with the final heat to go.
It was, unfortunately for the Somerset camp, to be the proverbial race too far for the Rebels as the Glasgow duo of Aaron Summers and Richard Lawson secured the all-important race advantage to give the Tigers victory on the day 49-41 and that two-point aggregate win to take them through to the Grand Final where they will meet local rivals, the Edinburgh Monarchs, who are the defending Premier League Champions.