THE Somerset Rebels have issued a rallying call to all fans ahead of this Friday, June 13, and the 2nd leg KO Cup match against the Ipswich Witches.
The Rebels, the defending KO Cup holders, will be looking to pull back a 40-point first leg deficit if they are to progress to the semifinal stages and a match-up against regional rivals the Plymouth Devils.
“Many might think we’re just riding for pride come Friday’s second leg,” said team manager Garry May, “but nothing’s decided yet, to use a well-worn sporting cliché.
“We’re only at half-time, so there’s still plenty of racing to be done before this tie’s decided, especially when you bear in mind that we go into this match on the back of a 40-point home win over Rye House and a stunning 21-point away win at Hoddesdon.
“What we really want is for all the Somerset fans to turn out in force and get down to the Oaktree Arena on Friday to get behind the boys as they look to overturn that first leg deficit.
“In reality, all the pressure is on Ipswich as they have everything to lose, and have already been to the Oaktree in the League Cup and lost by 40 points, which would have been greater but for the use of the tactical rides, which aren’t permitted in the KO Cup, so there will jitters among their riders even before a wheel has turned.”
“By contrast, we’re under no pressure whatsoever as nearly everybody has written us off, so we go into the match free of any nerves as hardly anyone expects us to pull back those 40 points, but the boys have been riding superbly at home this year and, having hit the 60-point mark in five of our last six home matches, this tie is far from the forgone conclusion many think it is.
“If we get off to the sort of start we’ve been doing in the majority of our recent matches here, those Ipswich jitters will be jangling even more, so if we can get a big crowd down here to support the team who knows what the final outcome might be.”
Somerset are expected to be at full strength for Friday’s match, while Ipswich will be missing their number 1, Richie Worrall, and reserve Adam Ellis, both of whom are required to ride for the Elite League clubs that night.