Somerset Rebels celebrate KO Cup Championship
speedway side Somerset Rebels are celebrating becoming 2015 Premier
League KO Cup Champions.
follows an exciting performance on Friday night in which the Rebels
narrowly lost to the Edinburgh Monarchs by 47-43 but won 92-88
on aggregate to lift the trophy.
Rebels went into the second leg at Edinburghs Armadale home
holding an 8-point lead from Tuesdays 1st leg at the Oaktree
Arena, but that lead was wiped out after just two heats of the
2nd leg with Edinburgh hitting home maximum heat wins in each
of the opening two races to bring the aggregate scores level.
their credit, however, the Rebels did not buckle under this initial
Monarch onslaught and contained Edinburgh, to the extent that
the Monarchs were only 2 points to the good on aggregate by the
halfway stage, Somersets Paul Starke celebrating his elevation
into the main body of the team with two crucial race wins in heats
5 and 8 to restrict the home side.
second half of the match saw Somerset come back at the Monarchs
with Starke making it a personal hat-trick of race wins in heat
11, this after heats 9 and 10 saw a share of the spoils, and with
4 heats still remaining Edinburgh led by 8 points on the night,
which meant that the two sides were level-pegging as far as the
aggregate score was concerned.
12 saw Somersets Rasmus Jensen, who had endured a torrid
evening up until then, and Wright easily held off Erik Riss, Edinburghs
sole representative in the race after Robert Branford had been
excluded in the first attempt to run the race, that 5-1 to Somerset
putting them to just 4 points behind Edinburgh in the match, but
more importantly, into a 4 point aggregate lead overall.
Brady Kurtz having a poor night by his standards, the 19 year-old
having picked to just 2 points from his three rides, there came
a stroke of tactical genius from Somerset team manager Garry May
as he replaced Kurtz with guest reserve Luke Chessell, who was
still have to take his 3rd mandatory ride.
Rebels skipper Josh Grajczonek splitting the Edinburgh duo of
Cook and Masters in heat 13, Somerset held a 2 point aggregate
lead with two heats remaining, but with Chessell now having taken
his 3rd ride, it allowed May to use his other reserve, and heat
12 winner, Rasmus Jensen in place of Chessell in heat 14.
move worked a treat, as although the initially running of the
heat saw Edinburghs Erik Riss hit the front from the tapes,
the German went too wide coming off the 2nd bend which allowed
the Somerset duo of Worrall and Jensen through into 1st and 2nd
places, but Riss lost control of his bike in trying to correct
his initial error and came to grief on the 3rd bend, he almost
taking the other 3 riders with him.
Riss excluded from the re-run, Jensen and Wright easily held off
Robert Branford, the resultant 5-1 being the cue for the celebrations
to start in the Somerset camp as with one heat still remaining,
the Rebels were in an unassailable aggregate lead and they were
the 2015 Premier League Travel Plus Tours KO Cup Winners!
Garry May, the Somerset team manager, said afterwards: "What
can I say. The boys were superb, every one of them, Starkey [Paul
Starke] was magnificent while Richie [Worrall] was just awesome
and Josh Grajczonek kept picking up vital points for us, as did
Wrighty [Charles Wright] while Rasmus [Jensen] turned his evening
around to combine with Charles and Richie for those 5-1s
in heats 12 and 14."
could have been so easy for their heads to drop after conceding
those two 5-1s in the first two heats, but they stuck at
it and didnt let Edinburgh get away from us before coming
back at the in the latter heats."
know it probably turned a few heads when I took Brady out of his
final ride in heat 13 and put Luke Chessell in, but I was looking
at the bigger picture, and after discussing it with Brady, he
was happy to give up his ride in heat 13 for the good of the team,
and luckily the move paid off and we are bringing the KO Cup back
The celebrations at the fixture on Friday evening (pics Ron Macneill)