WHILE the month of July starts out somewhat on the light side for the ‘Cases’ Somerset Rebels, it does not mean that there is a lack of action at the Oaktree Arena, writes Ian Belcher.

Matters kick off tomorrow (July 7) with a challenge match between a Somerset Rebels Select side and the Isle of Wight, which will provide some of the young British riders currently competing in speedway’s National League with the chance to showcase their talents.

The likes of 2016 Rebel Zach Wajtknecht, Henry Atkins and Anders Rowe will line up in the Rebels Select septet.

Admission prices for this intriguing challenge match have been reduced to £10 for adults and concessions, while children aged 12-16 pay £4 and those 11 and under will be admitted free.

There is currently no home meeting planned for the following Friday (July 14), but all roads will lead to the Oaktree Arena on Friday, July 21, when the home of the Rebels plays host to the SGB Championship Pairs meeting.

With the meeting taking place the day before the British Round of the World Championship Grand Prix Series at Cardiff’s Principality Stadium, a big crowd is expected as the top two riders from each of the 10 Championship teams compete for the crown.

Although Somerset are not able to defend the Pairs title they won last year by virtue of their move up into British Speedway’s top tier of racing in 2017, there could still be four of their current septet competing in the meeting in Josh Grajczonek (Sheffield), Richard Lawson (Glasgow), Charles Wright (Redcar) and Michael Palm Toft (Scunthorpe).

The end of the month will see the Rebels finally return to competitive SGB Premiership League action, with Wednesday, July 26 seeing the Rebels make their second visit of the season to Dorset to face the Poole Pirates.

The team then return to home shale two evenings later for the visit of Wolverhampton Wolves, the return fixture taking place at Wolves’ Monmore Green Stadium the following Monday, July 31.

Somerset team manger Garry May said: “While the month starts with a break from competitive action, there is still plenty to keep fans occupied with the challenge match against the Isle of Wight, and then the Pairs meeting.

“We staged a couple of these National League standard challenge matches last season, which were well received by those fans who came along to watch them, and Friday’s meeting should give fans the chance to see some new emerging British talent in action.

“The team then get back to league action at the end of the month with a spell of three matches in less than a week.

“So there is much to look forward to as far as July in concerned, with variety definitely being the key word!”

Friday, July 7 - ‘Cases’ Somerset Rebels Select v Isle of Wight (Challenge Match)
Friday, July 21 - SGB Championship Pairs at the Oaktree Arena (SGB Major Event)
Wednesday, July 26 - Poole Pirates v Somerset Rebels (SGB Premiership)
Friday, July 28 - Somerset Rebels v Wolverhampton Wolves (SGB Premiership)
Monday, July 31 - Wolverhampton Wolves v Somerset Rebels (SGB Premiership)