Premier League

Somerset Rebels 61 Ipswich Witches 31

IN temperatures and wind more reminiscent of the Russian Steppes, rather than those of the beautifully clear Somerset evening it was, the Somerset Rebels kept the crowd warm with a stunning dismantling of the Ipswich Witches.

The Rebels were making a belated start to their League fixtures, after losing the intended start date to the weather.

Both teams started the evening at full strength, with Ipswich looking to avenge the previous night’s home defeat at the hands of the Rebels, and the home side were equally intent on lighting up the freezing night, and making it too hot for their visitors.

However, Ipswich were unfortunate to lose their number one, Danny King, who was forced to withdraw after sustaining a shoulder injury, following a fall in only his second ride of the night. Luckily it was reported that he had not broken any bones, but was having problems with movement in his arm, which eventually forced his withdrawal.

The match opened with the Witches taking an early lead, as Danny King just got his head in front on the opening turn, with Josh Grajczonek close up. Grajczonek was soon challenging, and briefly got to the front down the back straight, before King powered back to the head of affairs through the final turns of the lap.

Once back in the van, he was never headed again, despite the resolute pressing from the Rebels skipper.

It was a commanding performance from the Somerset Rebels, in completing a 61-31 victory they had totally dominated affairs.

Even accounting for the absence of Danny King, who almost certainly would have increased the Witches share of the score sheet, the Rebels would, even then, have certainly completed a comprehensive triumph over the visitors on this kind of irresistible form.

All seven Rebels contributed to this win, but probably the most pleasing performance of all was that of Zach Wajtknecht, who by his own admission was finding life in the Premier League tough.

Wajtknecht’s problems had not stemmed from any lack of his undoubted talent, but were mainly mechanical, which he and his team have worked hard to correct.

His paid seven-point tally here, including his first paid win in full Rebels colours, showed that they are certainly getting on top of the issues, and there will definitely be more to come from their quarter.

Rohan Tungate recorded his first full four race maximum since joining the Rebels, with stunning performance of speed and gating prowess.

It was an evening which not only brought him top score, but also the Somerset ‘Rider of the Night’ award, chosen by the Revolution Speedway Team, who attended with their Clipper UK sponsored Start Reaction Test speedway bike, which drew many fans during the evening to have a go to beat a time set by the Witches Lewis Kerr.

Whilst only two Rebels are highlighted here, the rest all contributed massively to the win, as a glance at the scoresheet will show.

The Rebels next action sees them contest the first round of the Premier League Knock Out Cup, against Workington on May 6, and as current holders of the trophy, Garry May and his team will want to ensure they once again progress to retain their grip on the cup.