Sunday October 06, 2013
The ‘Cases’ Somerset Rebels were crowned the 2013 Premier League KO Cup Champions, the team beating Rye House 103-77 on aggregate after narrowly losing today’s 2nd leg of the Final 46-44 at Rye House.

Somerset held a healthy 28-point lead, courtesy of their 59-31 1st leg lead, going into today’s 2nd leg, the game plan being to keep matters tight in order to prevent the Rockets getting up a head of steam with which to put the Rebels under early pressure.

The plan worked to perfection as the Rebels took an early 4-point lead in the match, they providing the first three race winners of the afternoon before Rye House came back to level things up at 21-all as the meeting approached its half-way stage.

With time, and races, fast running out on the Rockets they did hit in a volley of 3 successive 5-1 heat wins, to take a 12-point lead on the day, but that still left Somerset with an overall advantage of 16 points with just 5 heats remaining, but then a 4-2 race win in heat 11 virtually assured the Rebels that they would be leaving Hertfordshire as the KO Cup winners, that being confirmed just a race later when Charles Wright and Alex Davies packed in for the minor places in heat 12.

Not content with winning the Cup with 3 heats to spare, Somerset then set about looking for the meeting win, Doyle and Morris combining for a 5-1 in heat 13 to bring the Rebels to within 6 points of Rye House, the race also seeing Doyle complete a faultless 4-ride maximum for Somerset, a more than fitting way to celebrate his 28th birthday.

A 4-2 race win in the penultimate heat for the Rebels by Grajczonek and Wright meant that a maximum 5-1 for Somerset in the last race of the night would see them tie the match, but although Grajczonek made it 2 wins on the bounce, Morris was just unable to overhaul Rye House’s Anders Mellgren for 2nd place, leaving Rye House winners on the day 46-44, but Somerset as the 2013 Premier League KO Cup Winners by 103-77 on aggregate.

“"It's not often that I am speechless, but this is one of those occasions," said Rebels promoter Debbie Hancock afterwards, "Garry May (the Somerset team manager) gave the boys a game plan and it worked a treat. Although Rye hit us with those 5-1's mid-meeting, we knew we had the strength in the final few heats to come back at the Rockets, which is exactly what happened, and here we are as the KO Cup winners!”

"All the boys rode exceptionally well and although the hard work was done in the 1st leg at the Oaktree Arena, they still had a job to do in today's match and they did it superbly in front of a great band of travelling Somerset supporters, who were definitely our ‘8th rider’ out there today, such was the way they all got behind the boys.”

Somerset team manager Garry May was equally delighted with the way the team performed;

“It was a fantastic feeling when Doyley was presented with the Cup,” he said, “the boys did a great job in containing Rye House early on, and with each passing heat so the pressure built on their side of the pits, which had been our plan all along.”

“Even though Rye House did open up a bit of a lead on us at one stage, we were never worried about losing control of things and came back at them to such an extent that we almost snatched a draw out of today’s match, but although we just missed out on that, we will be heading back to Somerset with the KO Cup to lock away in that Oaktree Trophy cabinet.”

Speaking to Rye House presenter Craig Saul after the meeting Jason Doyle said “We know how the Rye boys are good on their own track, and they showed that today. But we really came out in force too.”

“After the season, when I look back I’ll definitely rank it as one of the very best ones I’ve had. Hopefully I can stay injury-free; that’s why I didn’t go out in Heat 15 because I want to finally make the Play-Offs.” (Doyle was forced to sit out both the 2012 Premier and Elite League deciders though injury.)

After Somerset missed out on last year’s gold in that heart-breaking last heat decider at Scunthorpe, Doyle is determined to make amends this time around. “It would mean a lot to the Hancock family to finally lift the title. That’s the one we haven’t got in the cabinet, so that’s what we’re going for.”


Rye House: Oliver Allen 7+1 (4 rides), Pontus Aspgren 7+1 (4r), Jason Bunyan 7+1 (4r), Tyson Nelson 8+1 (5r), Anders Mellgren 10 (5r), Kasper Lykke 3 (4r), Ben Morley 4+2 (4r)

Somerset: Jason Doyle 12 (4r), Kyle Newman 2 (4r), Alex Davies 4+1 (4r), Josh Grajczonek 10 (5r), Nick Morris 6+1 (5r), Charles Wright 9 (5r), Oliver Greenwood 1 (3r)

A full match report will follow in due course

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