Somerset Rebels win Premier League pairs championship
At the seventh time of asking, the Somerset Rebels, in the
shape of Jason Doyle and Josh Grajczonek, have finally won the
Premier League Pairs speedway championship on home soil at Highbridge's
Oaktree Arena after beating Scunthorpe in a thrilling final.
The two qualifying groups to determine the 4 semi-finalists were
of contrasting fortunes with Group A, which included the Rebels,
a very tight affair, so much so that going into the final round
of races, virtually any two of the five sides could have booked
a semi-final berth.
As it was, however, Somersets 7-2 race advantage over Berwick
in heat 19 saw the home duo top the Group with Scunthorpe joining
the Rebels in those semi-finals, the Scorpions edging through
over Ipswich on count-back. With both sides locked on 18 points,
Scunthorpes win over the Witches when the two sides met
in heat 3 became the deciding factor.
B was far more clear cut as Workington and Edinburgh proved to
be the class acts, though Leicester did have the opportunity
to upset the apple cart in the final group race, a 7-2 win to
the Lions would have seen them edge out Edinburgh but with the
Monarchs Craig Cook in dominating form, he not losing to
an opposition rider all night, any faint hopes Leicester fans
might have held of seeing their side in the semi-finals were quickly
The first semi-final saw the Somerset pair of Doyle and Grajczonek
up against Edinburghs Cook and Vissing, and although Cook
quickly hit the front for the Monarchs, the Rebels duo packed
in behind him to keep Vissing at the back, Somersets
5-4 race win booking their passage into the final.
By contrast, the second semi-final was one of fluctuating fortunes
as first Workington held the upper hand with Rene Back up front
and Richard Lawson holding third place, Scunthorpes David
Howe being the filling in that Comets sandwich.
But in the blink of an eye that was all to change as Scunthorpes
Josh Auty made a sublime cut-back on Lawson as the riders hit
the 1st turn in the latter stages of the race to suddenly make
it advantage Scorpions and despite Lawsons best
efforts to get back past Auty, it was to no avail and Scunthorpe
duly joined Somerset in the Grand Final.
With Somerset having been here before but just fallen short at
the final hurdle, the homes fans were wondering if this would
finally be the year that the Premier League Pairs Trophy would
be residing at the Oaktree Arena, but as the tapes rose it looked
anything but as although Josh Grajczonek hit the front, Jason
Doyle found himself stuck at the back behind Howe and Auty.
With Grajczonek playing his part to try and slow up
the Scunthorpe duo, Doyle made his moves as he first worked his
way past one and then the other of the Scorpions and to the rapturous
celebrations of the Rebels fans he and Grajczonek crossed the
finishing line virtually side-by-side, with Doyle somewhat fittingly
just taking the race win, for the Somerset Rebels to be crowned
2013 Premier League Pairs Champions!