LAST month saw the British speedway fraternity stunned by the news of the immediate closure of Plymouth Speedway.
Amid the aftermath of the shocking news, a group of Plymouth fans sprang into action to set about trying to resurrect the club, but that takes time, and in the meantime the bulk of Plymouth riders were left without the ability to earn a living.
To help out that situation the Somerset Rebels management quickly arranged a challenge match between a Rebels Select and a Devils Select, with both sides initially expecting to field their normal full teams.
On Friday, all the hard work of the Plymouth Devils emergency committee had paid off, with the universally welcome news that the Devils had gained the necessary investment needed to carry on for the season, and hopefully beyond.
Both sides had originally intended to field full teams, but in the event, both ran rider replacement, the Rebels for Paul Starke at number two, who was fulfilling a fixture for his Elite League club, and the Devils for Charlie Gjedde, who was unavailable to fill the number one spot.
Other than that the line ups were as expected.
On Thursday evening, the final outcome was a 58-35 win for Somerset Rebels, but the evening wasn’t really about the result, but was an opportunity for the Plymouth riders to get some track time, and give their fans something to cheer about, and with the fantastic news of a revival, powered by a new consortium of investors’ emanating from the St Boniface Arena, they certainly achieved that goal. Long may it continue.
Next week sees another resurrected team visit the Oaktree Arena, when the visitors will be the newly reformed Isle of Wight Speedway, who bring their Wight Warriors team to meet a Somerset Rebels team in a National League Level Challenge match.
Meanwhile the full Somerset Rebels team will be in action again on Sunday, when they visit Hoddesdon for the away leg of their Premier League group clash with the Rye House Rockets.