SGB Premiership
Somerset Rebels 49, Wolverhampton Wolves 41

THE ‘Cases’ Somerset Rebels came back in style to overturn an early six-point deficit against league leaders Wolverhampton on Wednesday night, ultimately running out eight-point winners on a night of some exceptional speedway action at the Oaktree Arena, writes Stephen Allen.

Wolves shocked the Somerset fans in the opening heat by running in a 5-1 maximum, a lead which was further extended out to six points by the conclusion of heat 3.

The Rebels, however, refused to panic, and gradually clawed their way back into the match to level up the scores at 21-21 as the match approached its halfway point.

That was the cue for Somerset to take the match by the proverbial ‘scruff of the neck’, the Rebels hitting their visitors hard with three successive maximum 5-1 heat advantages, which saw the home side open up a 12-point lead with the final third of the match remaining.

Wolverhampton’s use of the tactical substitute ride brought them limited success, trimming Somerset’s lead back to 10 points, but a share of the spoils in heats 12 and 13 were sufficient to all but ensure the Rebels' victory with two heats remaining.

Team captain Jason Doyle was joint top scorer for Somerset alongside Charles Wright.

Rebels team manager Garry May said afterwards: “I think tonight showed the true character of this Somerset team.

“Rather than buckle under the pressure of that early Wolverhampton lead, the boys just regrouped, got back to doing the basics, and we were a different side for the rest of the match.

“Wolves are always a tough side to beat, and it is credit to all the lads in the team for the way they turned things around to take the win and keep us up there in the league table, challenging for an all-important playoff position.”

There are two further home matches to come for the Rebels, as they host Poole Pirates next Wednesday (June 20) and then King's Lynn Stars the following Monday (June 25).

Somerset (49): Jason Doyle 10+1, Charles Wright 10+1, Richard Lawson 9+1, Jake Allen 7, Jack Holder 6+1, Bradley Wilson-Dean 5+3, Jonas Jeppesen 2+1.
Wolverhampton (41): Jacob Thorssell 11+1, Rory Schlein 9+1, Kyle Howarth 6, Sam Masters 6, Cameron Heeps 5+1, Ashley Morris 4, Nathan Greaves 0.