THE ‘Cases’ Somerset Rebels wrap up their regular SGB Premiership league season at the Oaktree Arena tomorrow (Friday) with a local derby against Poole Pirates, the match due to get underway at the usual 7.30pm start time, writes Ian Belcher.

While Somerset’s slender hopes of a place in the title-deciding play-offs were ended last week, Poole still harbour ambitions of claiming the final place in those play-offs, and boosted their hopes of heading off a late challenge by Rye House with a home win over Belle Vue on Bank Holiday Monday.

But both Poole and Rye House are scheduled to complete a further two matches each before the Pirates' visit to Somerset tomorrow night, potentially making that encounter crucial in determining which of the two sides will be extending their season into the play-offs.

As far as the Rebels are concerned, they will be looking to end their home league campaign as they opened it back in April, with a win over the Pirates, with Somerset team manager Garry May looking forward to the match.

He said: “As I live in Poole, it would be great if we could end our season with a win over the Pirates to make it three wins out of four over them this season.

“Depend on the results of matches leading up to Friday night’s encounter, it could well be the Poole need to get something from their visit to the Oaktree Arena in order to book their place in the play-offs.

"But even if that is all decided by the time the two sides line up on Friday, it still promises to be a cracker of a match with the no small matter of local bragging rights up for grabs!”

On the team news front, Somerset are hopeful that Patrick Hougaard will have recovered sufficiently from a twisted knee which kept him from the Bank Holiday weekend’s fixtures for him to return to the side.

But they will continue to be without Cameron Heeps, who also missed the Rebels' weekend meetings due to an arm injury, and the team will operate the rider replacement facility in his place.

There is also a doubt regarding Jake Allen’s participation for the Rebels, as he aggravating a wrist injury in his return match to the side against Swindon on Monday evening, and if he is deemed unfit to ride Somerset will bring in a guest replacement for the Australian.

Meanwhile, Poole will be without Jack Holder and James Shanes for Friday’s match, with Holder competing for Australia in the following day’s Under-21 World Cup Final in Poland, while Shanes will be in France for the final round of the World Longtrack Championship.

To cover the duo’s absence, Poole will utilise the rider replacement facility for Holder, while Georgie Wood will ride as a guest replacement for Shanes.