SGB Premiership
Somerset Rebels 42, Leicester Lions 42
Meeting abandoned after 14 heats – result stands
League Points: Somerset 1, Leicester 2

THE ‘Cases’ Somerset Rebels’ outside hopes of a place in the end-of-season play-offs suffered a set-back with this home draw against bottom club Leicester on Monday night, writes Ian Belcher.

The visitors made a spirited fight-back after the Rebels seemingly had things under control when they opened up a 10-point lead after the first six heats.

Somerset started off in the best possible way with a maximum heat win, but Leicester replied in similar vein a heat later before opening-up a two-point lead after the third.

The Rebels then turned on the style, to the delight of the home fans, with three successive maximum heat wins but Leicester fought back and were on level terms with just two heats remaining.

As the riders came to the tapes for the penultimate heat, the rain started to fall, and it got heavier by the second.

Although the riders manfully completed heat 14, which saw a share of the spoils to keep the match score level at 42-42, track conditions had rapidly deteriorated to the extent that both teams agreed to abandon the match with the final heat still remaining.

With, however, the minimum 10 heats having been completed, the result stands, the draw meaning that Somerset took just one match point from the meeting.

Rebels team manager Garry May said: “It was frustrating for the match to end this way, especially after we had seen off the rain earlier in the afternoon.

“But there was no way the lads could go out and ride heat 15, and a sensible decision was taken to bring matters to an early end.

“Just as frustrating was the fact we dropped two home league points, especially after getting ourselves into that early 10-point lead.”

Somerset 42: Josh Grajczonek 9, Charles Wright 8+1, Lewis Kerr 8, Patrick Hougaard 7+1, Cameron Heeps 5+3, Richard Lawson 4+1, Dan Bewley [guest] 1.
Leicester 42: Scott Nicholls [guest] 8+2, Erik Riss 8+1, Danny King 8, Kyle Newman 7+2, Josh Bates 6, Paul Starke [guest] 5+1, Pawel Przedpelski R/R.