SGB Premiership
Leicester Lions 55, Somerset Rebels 35

"A NIGHT to forget," was how a dejected Garry May described the 'Cases' Somerset Rebels' first SGB Premiership match of the season, as they fell to a crushing 55-35 defeat at Leicester Lions on Monday, writes Stephen Allen.

The team manager added: "Nothing went right for us; whatever could go wrong did go wrong and we were left with far much too do.

"Trying to do anything from the back was a thankless task if you missed the gate and we found ourselves doing far too much of that.

"But we can't do anything about it now, we just need to move on and learn from it, and there would be no better way to bounce back than with a good home win on Wednesday."

The Rebels' disastrous night began when some early impeding resulted in their number one Jason Doyle pulling up early.

More problems followed when Bradley Wilson-Dean packed up at the start and was punished by a 15-metre handicap, the re-run seeing Jonas Jeppesen crash out.

Wilson-Dean was again in deep water when he caused Kyle Newman to crash in heat four, leaving Richard Lawson the solitary Rebel, unable to prevent a home 5-1, for a 19-5 scoreline.

Hoping to turn the luck round, May sent Jack Holder out as a tactical substitute alongside Doyle but Krystian Pieszczek headed them both home.

Newman and guest Robert Lambert combined well in the sixth to stretch the advantage further, Hans Andersen then winning his second outing to remain unbeaten.

At last the Rebels found a race winner and a heat advantage, as Jake Allen and Wilson-Dean made life easier for themselves by making decent starts, but Pieszczek and Danny King countered for the Lions in the ninth to restore their 18-point lead.

Hopes of another Somerset heat gain dissipated when Lambert blasted from third to first to head home Charles Wright and Holder.

Andersen's unblemished performance rolled on as he led home Doyle in heat 11, which had Newman picking up a point after replacing tapes offender James Sarjeant.

King could only finish between Rebels Wright and Jeppesen – the latter scoring his maiden Premiership point – before Doyle avenged his earlier defeat to Andersen.

Holder saved some face when he battled into second place in heat 14, before Andersen finished the Rebels off with another win over Doyle.

The Rebels now host the return fixture tomorrow evening (7.30pm) – a meeting which will see Cornishman Chris Harris stand in for the Lions’ number one Martin Vaculik, who is ruled out with a broken ankle.

Leicester (55): H. Andersen 14, K. Newman 11+2, K. Pieszczek 11, R. Lambert 9+2, D. King 7+1, J. Sarjeant 3+1.
Somerset (35): J. Holder 9+3, J. Doyle 8+1, C. Wright 7, J. Allen 4, B. Wilson-Dean 3+1, R. Lawson 3, J. Jeppesen 1.