SGB Premiership
Leicester Lions 46 (3), Somerset Rebels 44 (1)

THE 'Cases' Somerset Rebels had to settle for a single point from the first of their three meetings this week, as they lost narrowly at Leicester on Monday night, writes Stephen Allen.

The Rebels will reflect on a the lack of points from Bradley Wilson-Dean and Nico Covatti, both of whom suffered two falls apiece, a strained back sustained by number one Jason Doyle that denied him the chance to ride in heat 15 and, most critically, a shed chain suffered by Aaron Summers when lying third in heat 14 that would have levelled the scores going into the final heat.

Doyle was an emphatic 5-1 winner in the first heat, despite hurting his back, and 5-1 scores were traded for much of the meeting, with Leicester piling up three in a row between heats six and eight.

As a tactical substitute Doyle joined heat 9 to partner Holder for a 5-1 that helped the Rebels' cause and by the interval just four points separated the sides, Leicester leading 35-31.

That was down to just two once racing resumed, as Allen partnered Summers to a 4-2 in heat 12.

But a shock win for Scott Nicholls over Doyle and Holder in heat 13 meant the home side still edged affairs and were able to retain that advantage when Summers was forced out with a shifted chain after hitting a hole late on in 14.

Holder stormed to victory in the final heat but Lawson couldn’t manage to complete the attack down the back straight as the heat was shared.

Team boss Garry May said: "Aaron was desperately unlucky in heat 14; he had done the hard work and then just couldn’t avoid the hole on the first turn and that ended his night on a downer.

"With Jason having strained his back in his first ride he just wasn’t up to going out for another extra ride, having already taken the tactical that had helped us get back into the game.

"So my options were a bit limited in heat 15 and I would have gone for Aaron possibly had there been more time.

"I knew it was going to be tough for Richard [Lawson] from the outside as Leicester had the advantage of gate call, but that's speedway.

"I will take the league point; of course I would have liked more but it wasn’t to be."

The Rebels now host league leaders King's Lynn tonight (Tuesday), with Doyle expected to be passed fit, although he will go for physio work early in the day.

Kyle Howarth deputises for Nico Covatti, who is committed to riding for Ipswich at Glasgow.

Leicester (46): S. Nicholls 11 (1,3,2,3,2), C. Mountain 9+5 (1,2',1',2',2',0,1'), C. Wright 9 (3,2,0,2,2), H. Andersen 9+1 (2,3,3,0,1'), R. Wells 7+2 (1',2',3,1), S. Robson 1 (0,0,1,0), R. Replacement 0
Somerset (44): J. Doyle 13+1 (3,3,2',3,2), J. Holder 11+1 (3,1,3,1',3), A. Summers 9+1 (3,2',1,3,R), R. Lawson 7 (1,1,2,3,0), J. Allen 4+1 (2',0,1,1), N. Covatti 0 (0,FD,F), B. Wilson-Dean 0 (FD,FD,0)