SGB Championship

Somerset Rebels 42, Glasgow Tigers 48

A 'razzer'-sharp performance from former Rebel Rasmus Jensen played a major part in the Glasgow Tigers maintaining their excellent away form as they outpointed the 'Cases' Rebels in a thrilling encounter at the Oaktree, writes Stephen Allen.

Somerset, fielding three new faces for the first time, found themselves having to chase the meeting after conceding 5-1 heat advantages in the opening two races, the visitors also claiming a 2-4 advantage when Jensen first showed his liking for the Oak Tree circuit, beating Chris Harris in heat four.

But the newly created partnership of Rory Schlein and Nico Covatti worked wonders in heats three and five to counter that perfect start for Glasgow.

It took a brilliant ride from Anders Rowe, operating out of the difficult number two berth, and a gutsy ride effort from Nathan Stoneman to level the scores after eight heats.

It was Rowe's showing in heat 10 that steered the Rebels into the lead for the first time when he gallantly battled through for a third place to support Nick Morris' first winning ride back in Somerset colours.

But former track record holder Craig Cook sorted his problems that had forced a heat five retirement to beat his fellow GB team-mate Chris Harris after an exchange of places in heat 11, James Sarjeant holding out against a pressing effort from Luke Harris as the visitors levelled the meeting.

Kyle Bickley denied Stoneman another deserved point in heat 12, won by Schlein, thus preventing the Rebels from inching ahead.

Instead, it was the Tigers who were to make the breakthrough when Cook and Jensen had the clear advantage when Nick Morris fell at the back in heat 13 forcing the red lights to come on.

The race awarded as a 5-1 to the Scottish side, giving them the initiative going into the final two heats.

Covatti and Stoneman kept the meeting alive as they both gained places to secure a 4-2 for the Rebels, which left the home side needing a heat advantage to get some league reward from the meeting, be it a draw (with a 4-2) or a win (5-1 required).

However the dominance of Jensen shone through and he was closely followed home by captain Cook to secure three league points and consign Somerset to their second home defeat of the season.

Team boss Garry May said: "I said before the meeting there could be no sterner test for our new team structure than meeting Glasgow.

"Nick probably didn’t have the return he was hoping for but I am sure he will improve on that whilst Anders and Nathan both had scores more than I really expected and Luke showed enough to suggest that he will battle for points.

"I was particularly pleased with Anders.

"He told me he wanted the challenge at number two and he delivered tonight. That will certainly be a good boost for him.

"Of course missing out on league points tonight puts extra pressure on us and we must now, I feel, look to get something out of our remaining away matches.

"We go to Newcastle on Sunday. Let's see what we can do up there."


Somerset 42 - N.Morris 6, A.Rowe 5+1, R.Schlein 10+2,N.Covatti 10+1, C.Harris 8, L.Harris 0, N.Stoneman 3

Glasgow - 48 C.Cook 10+2, J.Sarjeant 8+1,C.Vissing 9, R.Jensen 14+1, K.Bickley 3+2, C.Bailey 4