SGB Premiership
Somerset Rebels 50, Swindon Robins 40

THE ‘Cases’ Somerset Rebels maintained their 2018 unbeaten home record with a hard-fought win over the defending league champions Swindon Robins, finally sealing victory in the penultimate heat of the night, writes Stephen Allen.

It was Swindon who drew first blood, as the visitors took an early two-point lead, but two maximum race wins by the Rebels in heats 4 and 6 took them into a lead that they never relinquished.

By the midway point, Somerset had established an eight-point cushion over the Robins, leading the visitors to deploy Troy Batchelor as a tactical substitute in heat 9.

And for a good proportion of the heat it looked as if the move was going to pay off, with Batchelor and team-mate Tobiasz Musielak heading the race.

But a stunning move by Somerset’s Charles Wright saw him split the Swindon duo, to leave the Rebels with a six-point advantage as the match entered its final third.

That lead was suddenly cut back to a mere two points when Swindon ran in a 5-1 maximum in heat 10, but the Rebels immediately hit back when Bradley Wilson-Dean and Charles Wright produced two superb rides to secure the hosts’ third maximum race win of the night, restoring their six-point lead.

A 4-2 race advantage in the penultimate heat was sufficient to secure victory, with the icing on the cake being delivered by Somerset skipper Jason Doyle and Holder, who finished the night with a further 5-1 race win to deny Swindon a consolation league point.

Somerset team manager Garry May said: “Although Swindon made us fight hard for every point, and closed us down on a couple of occasions, I always knew that the Somerset boys would produce the goods when required, and so it proved.

“Every one of the boys played their part, but a special mention should go to Bradley [Wilson-Dean], who put in a stunning performance for us from reserve, while Jack [Holder] took a superb win in heat 14 to secure us all three league points.”

Somerset (50): Bradley Wilson-Dean 12, Jason Doyle 11+1, Jack Holder 10+1, Richard Lawson 6+1, Jake Allen 5+2, Charles Wright 5+1, Ashley Morris 1+1.
Swindon (40): Troy Batchelor 12+1, Adam Ellis 7+1, Nick Morris 6, David Bellego 5, Zach Wajtknecht 4+1, Tobiasz Musielak 4, Jack Smith 2.


THE Somerset management team has apologise to the team's supporters for the ongoing track issues at the Oaktree Arena.

Following the win over Swindon, the management team called an emergency meeting to try and resolve the current issues, over the material that Somerset have been supplied with.

A statement said: "In simplistic terms, the shale is of a different consistency that we had previously and is not binding well enough.

"When the riders did their track walk last night the surface appeared to be OK but once the racing began it became evident that the shale was just breaking up and causing major safety fears for them.

"We can assure all our supporters that we are doing our very best to address these issues and whilst we fully understand the frustrations you all have - because honestly we have those very same frustrations - we would just like to appeal for your patience during this inevitable transition time.

"While we are a promotion team that is always ready and willing to listen to our supporters, some of the comments and allegations made against the management last night were far from acceptable and in some instances extremely rude, personal and disturbing, and we would politely ask people to refrain from such abuse."