DUE to the vagaries of the 2016 fixture list, and interventions from the weather, the ‘Cases’ Somerset Rebels had not been on track at the Oaktree Arena for three weeks, and almost as long away from home.
During that hiatus, the latest set of averages had been published, which saw Jake Allen move to the reserve berth.
Allen’s drop had nothing to do with his form, for he has been superb since making his UK debut back in March but it is more the improved form of Bradley Wilson-Dean that had brought the situation about.
The weather had been an is- sue for many teams and Friday’s visitors, Rye House Rockets, were a case in point, with this visit to the Highbridge circuit being their first away Premier League match of the season, right on the cusp of July.
Both teams came into this encounter at full strength.
Rebels established an early 5-1 advantage in heat 1,Josh Grajczonek opening his account.
Allen won Heat 2 from the tape and Cameron Wright and Paul Starke ex- tended the lead.
The Rockets looked to have stolen a march in Heat 7 when 2015 Rebel, Leigh Lanham, made a blinding start to lead up.
Rohan Tungate was next up, and by the turn he was up the inside, and ruthlessly moved Lanham, and the rest of the field wide.
Tungate disappeared into the distance and, when Heeps took a heavy fall on the final lap, Allen came in for third.
The Rockets made a switch in Heat 8, bringing in Kasper Lykke-Nielsen to replace Peter Karger and he built an unassailable lead ahead of Wilson- Dean.
Paul Starke stamped his authority on Heat 9, leaving Robson in his wake after a tough battle.
In Heat 10, Josh Grajczonek came with a storming run from last place to pass the whole field in one move but Heeps spoiled a maximum.
Heat 11 saw a restart after Allen’s tumble and Edward Kennett took full advantage for the Rockets to come home first and a full house in Heat 12 pushed Somerset’s advantage to 15 points, through Allen.
The crowd were treated to a stunning race in Heat 13 which Edward Kennet won after a tough battle with Tungate and Grajczonek.
The Rockets brought in Lykke- Nielsen in Heat 14 but this could only yield a share of the points.
- THE Rebels faced Peterborough at the Oak Tree Arena in the 1st leg of their KO Cup Quarter- Final tie against the Panthers on Tuesday, with the 2nd leg at the East of England Showground on Sunday (3rd). They are looking to continue the defence of the trophy they won in dramatic style against Edinburgh last season. The two sides have already met once this year, it being in the Premier League when Somerset won 53-37 away at Peterborough but, since then, the Panthers have made a number of team changes. This has seen Craig Cook join the club as their number 1, and Zdenek Holub replacing Tom Stokes at reserve after the Czech rider was released by Scunthorpe.