Rebels win Premier League Championship for the first time
were underway at Highbridge's Oaktree Arena on Monday evening
(October 28th) when the Somerset Rebels made club history by becoming
Premier League Champions.
speedway side won the second leg of its Premier League Championship
Final match against the Edinburgh Monarchs to clinch the title.
Rebels had never won a League Championship title and needed to
overcome a 1st-leg two-point deficit to claim their maiden Championship
club has previously twice finished as runners-up, in 2008, when
they were pipped to the title by Edinburgh, and most famously
last season when they lost by a single race point to Scunthorpe
in the final.
Rebels won 49-44 on the night - and 92-89 on aggregate - to raise
the championship trophy.
"After coming so close to winning the title last year you
wonder if you will ever get the chance again, but we have now
laid that ghost to rest," an obviously delighted Debbie Hancock,
the Somerset promoter, told Burnham-On-Sea.com.
"The guys have been absolutely brilliant all year, and they
did it again for once last time."
"Edinburgh really made us work hard for our win, as we knew
they would, we have had some terrific battles in our matches with
them this year, and all credit to the Monarchs and their supporters
for making it such a great Final."
into last night's second leg 2 points down on the Monarchs from
last Fridays 1st leg at Armadale, Somerset quickly wiped
out that deficit with a 5-1 heat win in the opening race courtesy
of Kyle Newman and Jason Doyle, but any thoughts the home fans
might have harboured that the Rebels might kick on from thereon
in proved to be wide of the mark as Edinburgh refused to yield,
it not being until the final race of the night had been completed
that Somerset were finally confirmed as the new League Champions.
By heat four Somerset had moved themselves into a 6-point lead
on the night, but were immediately pegged back by the Monarchs,
Craig Cook and Max Fricke combining for a maximum 5-1 heat advantage,
which brought the aggregate score back to being all-square.
Rebels then gradually started to pull clear and by the half-way
stage of affairs had opened up a 6 point lead on the night, which
they extended out to 10 points with their second 5-1 race win
of the night in heat 9, Nick Morris and Alex Davies doing
the honours for Somerset, Davies throwing Edinburghs
Theo Pijper a dummy in appearing to be looking for
an outside pass on the Dutchman, only to suddenly switch back
up Pijpers inside to move through into 2nd place behind
Needing to stem the Somerset tide, Edinburgh sent their number
1, Craig Cook, out on a double point tactical ride in heat 11,
and whilst the Cumbrian duly obliged, this despite immense pressure
from Somersets Josh Grajczonek, the move was only a partial
success as Charles Wright kept Cooks race-partner Max Fricke
at the back.
With four races to go Somerset held a 7-point lead on the night,
to put in front by 5 points on aggregate, that being the situation
after heat 12, Nick Morris and Oliver Greenwood packing into to
ensure a share of the spoils behind ex-Rebels Claus Vissing.
A 4-2 race win in heat 13 saw Somerset with one hand on the Championship
trophy, but that only tells part of the story as initially the
race saw Edinburghs Craig Cook hit the front, but in a stunning
move, Somersets Josh Grajczonek swept round the outside
and into the lead as the riders came off the 4th bend on the opening
lap, a move to which Cook had no answer, and with Jason Doyle
picking up the point for 3rd place, it saw Somerset extend their
aggregate lead out to 7 points with just 2 heats remaining.
still the Monarchs refused to accept defeat and as the tapes rose
on heat 14 it saw the Edinburgh duo of Vissing and Derek Sneddon
hit the front, but as the race progressed so Alex Davies gradually
closed in on Sneddon, and to the cheers of the Somerset fans he
moved past Edinburgh skipper as the riders came off the 4th bend
for the penultimate time, his 2nd place finish virtually assuring
Somerset of the Championship crown.
By now the rain that had threatened the meeting an hour or so
prior to the scheduled start had returned with a vengeance, but
all that was required from the final race was for Somerset to
ensure that either of their two representatives, Jason Doyle and
Josh Grajczonek, finished the race for Somerset to win their first-ever
League Championship title, and although the Edinburgh duo of Cook
and Vissing held the initial sway from the tapes, Doyle nipped
past Vissing as the riders came off the 2nd turn of the opening
lap and into 2nd place, and with it the Cases Somerset
Rebels were the 2013 Premier League Champions!