King’s Lynn Stars 53 v 37 Somerset Rebels
Match Points: King’s Lynn 3 Somerset 0
THE ‘Cases’ Somerset Rebels first ever match in UK Speedway’s top flight did not come with a fairy-tale ending as the Rebels went down by 16 points to the King’s Lynn Stars in this SGB Premiership encounter, writes Ian Belcher.
Somerset were on the back foot from the off, their cause not helped by two dubious exclusions to two of their riders in the opening two heats, to the extent that the Rebels quickly found themselves 14 points in arrears of their hosts after the first six heats.
It was to their credit, however, that the Rebels continued to plug away, but although they matched King’s Lynn over the course of the remaining nine heats of the match, Somerset left themselves too much to do if they were to take anything away with themselves by way of league points.
To compound their defeat, Somerset lost the services of skipper Josh Grajczonek, who suffered a suspected broken thumb as a result of a heat seven fall.
Despite the disappointment of leaving Norfolk empty-handed, there were some excellent performances in the Rebels camp, most notably from Patrick Hougaard, who took two race wins, and Charles Wright, who also ended the night with a brace of heat wins to his name.
Somerset team manager Garry May said: “Obviously we are disappointed to have lost, but I think we gave a good account of ourselves, especially considering that Rohan [Tungate] was suffering mechanically all night and we lost the services of Josh Grajczonek just short of the halfway stage.
“But although we were always chasing the match, the boys never gave up, and continued to battle away, and with a bit more luck and rub of the green with one or two of the decisions, I think we could have nicked a point from tonight’s match.
“It is too early to say at this stage as to the full extent of Josh’s injury, but early indications are that it could have suffered a broken thumb as a result of his fall, which if confirmed will mean a spell on the side-lines for him, but we’ll have to wait until he has been and had it properly looked at before we know for certain.”
KING’S LYNN 53: Troy Batchelor 13+1, Robert Lambert 10, Lewis Rose 9+2, Chris Holder 7, Kai Huckenbeck 6+1, Nicklas Porsing 5+1, Josh Bailey 3.
SOMERSET 37: Patrick Hougaard 12+1, Charles Wright 9, Paul Starke 7, Jake Allen 6, Jan Graversen 2+1, Rohan Tungate 1, Josh Grajczonek 0