Rebels celebrate finishing top of the Premier League
speedway team The Somerset Rebels have finished the league season
in top spot in the Premier League table after a narrow win on
Monday evening (September 16th).
and Ipswich battled it out for the honour of finishing the league
season in first place.
maths were quite simple in that a win of any sort would see Somerset
claim top spot in the Premier League, whereas a draw or better
for the Witches would see them leap-frog the Rebels to take first
sides were missing their respective number one riders, Somersets
Jason Doyle and Ipswichs Ben Barker, both of whom were required
to ride for Birmingham, their Elite League Cup side. Nick Morris
absent from the Somerset side as he was also on Elite League duties
albeit with Swindon.
the start of the season Somerset handed out a 20-point thrashing
to Ipswich in the League Cup, but any thoughts of that being repeated
here were very quickly dispelled when Ipswich stormed into a 6
point lead after the opening 2 heats to put the Rebels on the
back foot right from the off.
fact it wasnt until heat 4 that a Somerset rider took a
race win, but with heats 3 and 4 showing a share of the spoils,
it maintained Ipswichs 6 point advantage.
maximum race win courtesy of Somerset guest Anders Mellgren and
the birthday boy Alex Davies, the stand-in Rebels
skipper celebrating his 21st, brought the home side back into
contention, and when Davies combined with Kyle Newman for a 4-2
in the following heat, it saw Somerset back on level terms.
thoughts that the home fans might have held that Somerset were
to exert their authority and kick on from here on in, were quickly
dispelled however, when Ipswich immediately hit back and by the
end of heat eight they had restored their six-point lead with
which to enter the second-half of the match.
the home side went on to win 46-44 to the sound of loud cheers
and applause from the crowd of spectators.
boys really wanted to finish the regular league season at the
top of the Premier League table and despite Ipswich really giving
it everything, defeat was not an option for us," said a delighted
Garry May, the Somerset team manager, afterwards.
were on the back foot for virtually the whole match, but this
is a Rebels side that never knows when it is beaten and they proved
that here tonight by pulling victory out of the fire in those
final 2 heats, though all credit to Ipswich for pushing us all
the way and making this the match it was."
finishing the regular season top of the Premier League table does
not give us the Championship title, it does give us a timely boost
to our confidence as we head into the play-offs which will decide
who will be crowned as the 2013 Premier League Championship."
Top - Heat 5 action with Alex Davies & Anders Mellgren leading
Leigh Lanham & Cameron Heeps; Centre - Somerset's Josh Grajczonek
received the bumps for his match-winning ride; Above - Somerset's
Alex Davies on the inside of Leigh Lanham (pics: Colin Burnett)