SGB Premiership
Wolverhampton Wolves 41, Somerset Rebels 49

THE 'Cases' Somerset Rebels moved to the top of the SGB Premiership table following a stunning 49-41 victory at Wolverhampton on Monday.

With Garry May admitting in the build-up to the meeting that he wanted to end his barren run at Monmore Green, having seen his Somerset sides lose heavily on all previous visits, the Rebels team manager was made a very happy man thanks to a solid all round team performance.

The margin of victory was sufficient to seal all four available points from a venue where few teams leave with much more than a consolation, and May was quick to praise each of his seven riders equally.

He said: "It was another good team performance tonight, much like we had at Poole. Perhaps we were fortunate to meet them on a night they were missing Howarth and Heeps, but you still have to do score the points to win and my boys did that well.

"I know that some people may just look at the numbers against the riders score-chart and think our new guy didn’t score too well but Aaron's [Summers] two point return totally belied his performance.

"He was exceptionally unlucky to breakdown in heat seven whilst leading and he was absolutely gutted when he came back in the pits.

"He then became the victim, if you like, of me needing to act strategically when I pulled him out of heat 12 in favour of Nico [Covatti].

"I did it because I just felt I had to try and maximise the opportunity I had with us leading by 10 at the time.

"It didn’t quite work the way I had hoped but the team responded superbly and we came through with all the league points.

"On what I saw tonight I remain convinced that Aaron will do a good job for us and I certainly don't want anyone getting on his back."

Somerset opened with a 4-2 advantage and steadily carved out a 10-point lead by the halfway stage, restricting the Wolves, generally so powerful at home, to just two race winners across the first eight heats.

The Rebels lead did creep up to 12 points at one stage but Thorssell, becoming their third race winner, overpowered Lawson in heat 10 to chip back at the deficit.

The Wolves won heat 12, the one which May had made his reserve switch, but his Rebels instantly hit back through Doyle and Holder in heat 13, the latter doing well to restrain the efforts from Rory Schlein who was trying to pass until he fell.

That result meant one more finisher would assure the Rebels of their first ever Black Country win, whilst Lawson's heat 14 left the Rebels needing to avoid a maximum heat defeat in 15 to secure all four and Doyle's telling move on Sam Masters on the second lap saw to it that at least one May was having a happy Monday!

Wolverhampton (41): Sam Masters 12+1, Jacob Thorssell 9, Rory Schlein 8+1, Ashley Morris 5, Nathan Greaves 4+1, Mark Riss 3, Kyle Howarth r/r.
Somerset (49): Jason Doyle 13, Jack Holder 10+2, Richard Lawson 7, Nico Covatti 6+1, Jake Allen 6, Bradley Wilson-Dean 5+1, Aaron Summers 2.