SGB Premiership
Belle Vue Aces 48 (3), Somerset Rebels (1)

SOMERSET Rebels' final regular league race of the 2018 campaign ended in near tragedy for world champion Jason Doyle, who collided with the air-fence at the National Speedway Stadium and was thrown over his handlebars as he sought to take the honours in an enthralling match last night.

Thankfully, Doyle was able to walk away from the incident that led to the last heat decider being awarded in Belle Vue's favour, giving them a 48-42 triumph, a result that broke the hearts of Rebels' neighbours Swindon, who still harboured hope of reaching the playoffs.

The Rebels had needed a 5-1 from that concluding race to defeat the Aces, and Doyle did exceptionally well to work his way to the front, although partner Jack Holder was prevented from joining him as Max Fricke proved a stubborn opponent.

With the race entering its latter phase, Doyle was pushing wider and wider, eventually ran out of track room, clipped the fence, recovered momentarily and then was thrown out the front.

The referee's call was to disqualify Doyle and award the heat as an Aces 5-1, an academic verdict in the scheme of things, although the final six-point margin didn’t reflect the entertainment value of the meeting, with no more than six points separating the two sides throughout.

Rebels team boss Garry May confirmed that Doyle had escaped relatively unscathed from his fall.

He said: "Yeah, Doyle's really tough you know, and he is OK.

"He was a bit uncomfortable initially after jarring himself on the handle-bars, but he is fine and will be ready to go for the next time."

As for the meeting itself, an upbeat May added: "We came here to win; we didn’t just quite manage that, but we made sure they [Belle Vue] knew they had been involved in a meeting.

"It was good out there, a fabulous meeting and great advertisement for speedway.

"We took a point out of it, ran them very close, and it has been a good taster for the Knockout Cup when we come back here again in a couple of weeks."

Before that trip to Manchester, which will be the second leg of the KO Cup semi-final, the Rebels will host Poole Pirates in the first leg of the playoff semi-final on Monday, September 17.

Club owner Debbie Hancock said: "We have two very tasty ties to race against Poole after King's Lynn chose Belle Vue as their playoff opponents.

"We have chosen to hold the first leg at home and the gameplan will be to try and build up a strong advantage to take into the second leg at Poole on October 1.

"I reckon this will be one meeting no-one will want to miss."

Belle Vue (48): M. Fricke 12+1 (1,3,3,3,2'), C. Cook 10+1 (1',3,3,0,3), R. Tungate 9 (2,2,3,0,2), S. Worrall 9+1 (3,1',0,3,2), D. Berge 7 (3,2,1,1,0,0,0), M. Riss 1 (0,1,R)

Somerset (42): J. Doyle 12 (2,3,2,3,2,FD), R. Lawson 10 (3,2,2,3), J. Holder 9+1 (3,2,2,1',1), J. Allen 4+2 (1',0,1',1,1), B. Wilson-Dean 4+1 (0,1,2,1'), A. Summers 3+1 (2,0,1'), N. Covatti 0 (0,0,0)