SGB Championship

Birmingham Brummies 43, Somerset Rebels 47

DESPITE controlling their away SGB Championship meeting at Birmingham, the Rebels just failed in delivering Garry May the four league points he was after, writes Stephen Allen.

The Rebels' four point victory, 47-43, did however earn them three league points, sufficient for them to draw level on points with second placed Glasgow in the league table.

Somerset's big three - Rory Schlein, Chris Harris and Nico Covatti - led the Rebels' charge with Covatti putting in a commendable performance despite still suffering the effects of his rib injury he sustained at the end of June.

Unbeaten in his previous visit to Perry Barr this season, Covatti clocked in two more rides without being beaten by Brummie but he lost his perfect record in heat 10 when home guest Steve Worrall picked up his only victory of the night.

Covatti and partner Valentin Grobauer had featured in the only 5-1 of the night, which came in a truncated heat 7, with the Rebel pair in command at the time when Tero Aarnio fell.

Although Covatti returned to winning ways in his final ride his body language when he dismounted from his machine told its own story as he struggled to walk into the pits.

May said: "Nico went beyond the call of duty tonight.

"He was really struggling at times with discomfort from his ribs but insisted he didn't want to let the side down.

"To go out there and score paid 11 like he did was unbelievable but so typical of his desire to do well for us and not let the side down.

"Our top three were superb tonight but we just couldn't find that little bit extra needed to take all four points.

"The pressure remains on us not to slip up at home again but even if we manage that then I feel we still need to find a point or two from our remaining away matches."

Rebels' number one Schlein went through his programmed rides unbeaten and untouchable but he missed the gate in the nominated heat, when the Rebels needed a 4-2 advantage to claim the full league points.

Skipper Harris strung three successive race wins together including an exciting charge in heat nine to work through traffic that included the lively Jason Garrity, who made a spectacular debut for the Brummies, scoring paid 14 as he swept riders from both teams aside with his full-throttle style.

Somerset were never behind on the night but the home side always kept them to within six points with arguably the most crucial result being heat 13, when Steve Worrall managed to split the Schlein/Harris combination that prevented the Rebels from building an eight point lead ahead of the final two heats.


Birmingham 43 - J.Garrity 13+1, S.Worrall 9+1, J.Shanes 7+1, M.Castagna 6+2, T.Aarnio 3+1, N.Agertoft 3+1, D.Wallinger 2+1

Somerset 47 - C.Harris 12 , R.Schlein 12 , N.Covatti 9+2, V.Grobauer 7 , T.Kurtz 4 , A.Rowe 2 , H.Atkins 1+1