Published: June 21, 2013
Somerset Rebels issue apology after match is abandoned

Highbridge-based speedway side The Somerset Rebels have issued an apology after Tuesday's Knockout Cup quarter-final against Workington Comets was abandoned after just one heat.

The meeting was called off due to a waterlogged track at the Oaktree Arena, despite there being no rain during the day at the Highbridge circuit.

Instead, the Rebels had watered the track themselves and were then caught out by surface water not evaporating as quickly as expected.

The meeting was delayed after Somerset rider Stefan Nielsen suffered a heavy fall in the second heat but, despite extensive work on the track, the meeting was never restarted.

Rebels promoter Debbie Hancock was quick to issue a full apology to fans on the promotion's official website, blaming a change in weather forecast for the error.

"I would like to take this opportunity to apologise to everyone who was at the Oaktree Arena," said Hancock.

"The track preparation leading up to the meeting had been based on the Met Office weather forecast that had indicated we would be getting a hot, sunny afternoon and evening.

"But contrary to the forecast, we experienced unexpected cloud cover which meant that the water that had been laid down on the track did not evaporate as anticipated, which left the track with a wetter than usual surface."

The Rebels were chasing a six-point deficit after losing 48-42 in the first leg at Workington on Sunday evening.

They had got off to the best start possible in heat one, gaining a 5-1 maximum through captain Jason Doyle and Kyle Newman.

But Nielsen's big crash in the second outing, after a coming-together with Ashley Morris, forced the premature stoppage for extensive track grading. After a long wait, it was decided the Oaktree Arena track was not fit for racing.

Debbie Hancock added: "Both personally and on behalf of the club, I feel that we have let down the supporters who came along for what all the makings of an exciting night of racing, and I cannot apologise enough to those fans who were left disappointed at the abandonment."

The Rebels said tickets for the match will be valid for any Somerset home match either this season or next season.


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