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Rebels still in play-off final hunt
9:15am Tuesday 15th October 2013 in Sport Latest
Premier League play-off
Somerset Rebels 51 Newcastle Diamonds 39
THE Somerset Rebels’ hopes of qualifying for the play-off final are still alive after a 51-39 victory over Newcastle last Friday night.
Charles Wright took the Rider of the Night award from meeting sponsors Safety Horizon South-West after an 11+3 haul from six rides.
The visitors posted a 5-1 maximum in heat one before the teams shared the spoils in the second.
The Rebels squared the match in heat 3 as Nick Morris and Alex Davies added another maximum advantage to their growing total for the season.
Another maximum followed quickly when Charles Wright blasted off the tapes to lead up Newcastle’s Lewis Kerr, Josh Grajczonek and Anton Rosen.
Grajczonek took to the dirt and charged around the widest of lines to firstly account for the two Diamonds before taking up the running on the third turn.
Rosen was soon past Kerr and gave chase, but despite closing and trying different lines he could not find away into second place as the Rebels posted a comfortable 5-1.
The Diamonds immediately cut the Rebels’ lead to just two points as they took the advantage in heat 5 before another shared heat in the sixth.
The visitors moved back into the lead as they posted their second full house of the night in heat 7.
Heat 8 saw each side make changes with Wright coming in for Greenwood, and the Diamonds tracking Rosen as rider replacement for the absent Stuart Robson, but Newcastle took the heat victory.
Undaunted, the Rebels hit back immediately and levelled the scores for the second time, and they had the ‘Dynamic Duo’ of Morris and Davies to thank for the equilibrium.
The Diamonds just would not lie down and led again after heat 10.
The Rebels were staring the distinct possibility of a disastrous home defeat in the face, but as they have shown in the past they are often at their toughest when the chips are down, and tonight was no different with Grajczonek jetting from the tapes in heat 11 to take the win.
Still two points down, the Rebels got into top gear and blasted the Diamonds with a stunning volley of unanswered maximum advantages over the next three heats to put the tie beyond recall and virtually ensure that the Diamonds went away empty-handed.
The heat advantage ensured the Rebels all the points, and their 51-39 win puts them back in a strong position in the group.
Any points they can take from their final two away matches, with Newcastle (Sunday) and Redcar (Thursday), will see them through to the play-off final where Edinburgh are waiting to renew their rivalry with the Burnham outfit.
Manager Garry may said: “We’d have loved to have wrapped things up here tonight, and though we came agonisingly close it just wasn’t to be.
“Again, Jason Doyle was superb and played a true captain’s role, but it now means that so long as we avoid a heavy defeat at Redcar on Thursday we should still qualify for the final.”
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