SGB Premiership
Belle Vue Aces 44, Somerset Rebels 46
Points: Belle Vue 0, Somerset 3

APRIL may not have been the best of months for the ‘Cases’ Somerset Rebels, but the month of May has hardly dawned and it has already proved to be a better proposition.

They turned the form book upside down on Bank Holiday Monday with a stunning victory at top-of-the-table Belle Vue.

The match saw a much-needed to return to form for the Rebels' number one, Rohan Tungate, the Australian setting out his stall with victory in the opening heat to ensure a share of the spoils.

But it was just a heat later that Somerset took the lead, courtesy of a maximum 5-1 race win for their reserve pairing of Jake Allen and Jan Graversen.

It was to be a lead Somerset were never to relinquish and, although Belle Vue got themselves back on to level terms by the conclusion of heat five, Allen and Graversen combined once again, this time in heat eight, to produce a second maximum race win for the Rebels, the only two such maximum heat wins seen throughout the match.

Crucially, Somerset held off Belle Vue’s attempt to get back into the match over the course of the next three heats.

With just four races remaining, the Rebels still held a four-point advantage, which was extended out to six when Charles Wright took victory in heat 12, with Allen picking up a point for third place.

With Tungate winning heat 13, his third win from four outings, it saw Somerset remain six to the good with just two heats remaining.

But, with heat 14 producing a 4-2 heat advantage for Belle Vue, it meant that, provided Somerset had a finisher in heat 15, they would leave Manchester with at least a draw to their name.

With Tungate, for whom the day was a personal triumph after what had been a torrid start to the season, riding a superb race to hold of Aces skipper Craig Cook for second place, it meant Somerset had secured their first away win of the season, to the obvious delight of team manager Garry May.

May commented: “I said going into this match that very few people probably gave us any chance at Belle Vue.

"I think that worked in our favour as there was no pressure on the Somerset boys.

“I know we are a much better team than our previous results might suggest and that it wouldn’t take much for us to turn what had previously been defeats into wins.

“This was a superb team performance for which all the boys deserve credit, especially after the bitter disappointment of Friday’s home defeat [to King's Lynn].

"I must give a special mention to Rohan [Tungate], who has been going through the mill since the start of the season but I know he is too good a rider to not turn things around.

"He showed great character today to prove just what he is capable of and, hopefully, this will be the spark which now will see Rohan return to his very best.

“The long journey home will be all the sweeter, though probably no less torturous, following this great performance by all the boys!”

Belle Vue 44 - Max Fricke 12+1, Craig Cook 11, Justin Sedgmen 9+1, Steve Worrall 6+1, Dan Bewley 3+1, Lee Payne [guest] 2+1, Jack Smith 1.
Somerset 46 - Rohan Tungate 13, Jake Allen 9, Paul Starke 7+2, Charles Wright 7, Josh Grajczonek 6+1, Jan Graversen 4+2, Rob Shuttleworth [guest] 0.