Premier League Knock Out Cup (1st Round - 1st Leg)
Somerset Rebels 52 Workington Comets 38
LEGENDARY tennis star Billie Jean King once said, 'champions keep playing until they get it right' - and they are sentiments that accurately describe the fighting performance put up by the Somerset Rebels, as they opened their defence of the Premier League Knockout Cup against a determined Workington Comets outfit at the Oaktree Arena on Friday evening.
Having taken two away wins, and then demolished Ipswich at home in their last three outings, it would have been easy to have gotten complacent, but speedway can quickly bring you back to earth with a bump.
It was looking as though the Rebels would have to travel to Derwent Park with only a slight lead, but once again their fortitude started to shine through, but as in the early part of the meeting, it was no easy ride for the home side.
The Rebels finally gave themselves some leeway to take to Cumbria next weekend, and you could almost hear the strains of Billy Ocean belting out ‘When The Going Gets Tough’ as the Rebels left the track with an extremely hard fought 52-38 victory tucked under their belts. It was a grafting, battling performance by the home side, with all but Kyle Howarth posting a heat win. Howarth himself supported well, with two paid wins in his paid eight-point return.
Top score went to Josh Grajczonek, whose battling performance in the later stages of the meeting brought three wins, all from behind, and the Rider of the Night award, an award which in truth could very well have also gone to Paul Starke or Bradley Wilson-Dean, the latter producing a superb 9+1 to support the other two.
For their part, the Workington Comets had made a full contribution to a fantastic meeting, which saw some superb racing, and gave the Somerset Rebels a bit of a fright as they battled to progress and retain the Knockout Cup.
Top of the tree was guest Steve Worrall, with 10+1. He was ably supported by Kenneth Hansen, who posted 9-points, whilst Rasmus Jensen proved his worth, and his liking for the Highbridge circuit, with 7+1.
The Rebels next action will be at the Oaktree Arena next Friday, as they take on the highly rated Glasgow Tigers, followed by a trip to Derwent Park on Saturday, for the return leg of this KO Cup tie.