REBELS WIN PL FOURS CHAMPIONSHIP

Sunday August 03, 2014
The ‘Cases’ Somerset Rebels were crowned the Premier League Fours Champions yesterday (Sunday 3rd) afternoon in a dramatic afternoon at Peterborough, the Rebels winning the title for the 2nd time in their history.

The Somerset quartet of Nick Morris, Olly Allen, Pontus Aspgren and Brady Kurtz, together with reserve Charles Wright, were drawn in Group A of the Championship Semi-Finals along with Newcastle, Scunthorpe and meeting hosts Peterborough, while the defending Fours Champions Edinburgh were in Group B together with Workington, Redcar and Berwick.

Somerset’s semi-final group proved to be a close affair, with just 3 of the 8 heats remaining, there was only 1 point between the 4 teams with Newcastle and Somerset on 8 points a-piece while Peterborough and Scunthorpe had 7 points to their name.

Heat wins for Olly Allen and Pontus Aspgren in each of the next two heats proved to be sufficient to take Somerset into the Final as group winners, though there was a moment of concern in their final group race when Brady Kurtz took a hefty fall on the opening lap, and although he was to be excluded from the re-run, Somerset still finished as top scorers from their half of the semi-final with 14 points, Scunthorpe coming through to join them in the Grand Final by virtue of their 13 point tally.

The other semi-final proved to be slightly more straightforward with Workington and Edinburgh ending up with 14 points each to finish 3 points clear of third placed Redcar, Berwick finishing in 4th on 9 points.

The Grand Final was to be contested over 12 heats with each rider having 3 rides each, Olly Allen get the Rebels off to a good start with 2nd place in the opening heat, Pontus Aspgren following suite in heat 2 to put Somerset into a share of the lead at this early stage of proceedings.

Disaster was to strike in heat 3 however as Brady Kurtz’s bike suffered an engine failure whilst he was battling for 2nd place, and with him picking up no points as a consequence, it left Somerset in 3rd place on 4 points, 2 behind joint leaders, Workington and Scunthorpe.

Nick Morris picked up a point for 3rd place in the next heat, but with Scunthorpe’s Ashley Birks taking the race win, it saw the Scorpions extend their lead, they heading the standing after the first stanza of 4 heats with 9 points, with Workington next on 6, Somerset 3rd with 5 points and Edinburgh 4th with 4 points to their name.

The next two heats were to see Olly Allen and Nick Morris both take race wins, they catapulting the Rebels into the lead with 11 points, a lead, as it transpired, they were never to relinquish.

Following his engine failure in his previous outing, it came as little surprise that Brady Kurtz failed to come to the tapes for Somerset in heat 7, his place being taken by reserve Charles Wright, who has been in a rich vein of form for the Rebels of late.

That form was confirmed as Wright battled hard throughout the 4 laps to take a 2nd place finish, which now saw the Rebels 3 points to the good over the rest of the field, that 3 point advantage being maintain with Aspgren’s 3rd place in heat 8, and with just four heats remaining, Somerset led with 16 points, with Workington 2nd on 13 points, Edinburgh 3rd with 11 points while early leaders Scunthorpe began to fade away, the previous 4 heats seeing them add only 1 point to the tally, they now lying 4th with 10 points to their name.

Heat 9 was to see Wright once again deputise for Kurtz, his second place behind Scunthorpe’s Ryan Douglas was sufficient to maintain the Rebels 3 point lead over the rest of the field, and when Pontus Aspgren followed that up with another second place finish for the Rebels, it meant that if results went the way of the Rebels in the penultimate race, they would be in an unassailable position at the top of the score-chart.

And so it proved as Nick Morris sped away for the all-important race win, and with Workington’s Kyle Howarth only picking up a single point for 3rd place, it meant that Somerset could not be caught, and were now the 2014 Premier League Fours Champions.

Although the final heat was of little consequence as far as Somerset were concerned, skipper Olly Allen ensured that the Rebels were to round off the afternoon in style as he took the race-win to take Somerset to 24 points, Workington finishing 2nd, 6 points adrift on 18 points while Edinburgh and Scunthorpe were tied on 15 points each in 3rd place.

“This was is just a fantastic achievement by the boys,” said Somerset team manager Garry May afterwards, “when we put the team together over the winter I knew that we would be strong in events such as this and the Pairs, and so it has proved.”

“All 5 of the boys rode their hearts out today, and were not going to be denied. I knew that Nick and Olly wanted to make up for the disappointment of losing out in last month's Pairs Final, and they have done that in stunning style.”

“In under 2 years this club has won every team championship there is to win in the Premier League, which is some achievement, but we are not finished yet, we still have the League Championship itself to go for, we are the defending League Champions and we want to retain our title.”

“But all that is for later, right now we are going to enjoy the glory of being the Premier League Fours Champions, and hopefully all Somerset fans will be at the Oaktree Arena on Friday evening when we take on Rye Hose to give these boys the congratulations they so richly deserve.”

Scores:

Semi-Final A;

Somerset 14 (Nick Morris 4, Olly Allen 5, Pontus Aspgren 3, Brady Kurtz 2, Charles Wright [res] dnr)
Scunthorpe 13 (Thomas Jorgensen 5, David Howe 2, Ryan Douglas 4, Ashley Birks 2, Matt Williamson [res] dnr)
Peterborough 11 (Lasse Bjerre 3, Ulrich Østergaard 3, Ales Dryml 2, Lewis Blackbird 3, Joe Jacobs [res] dnr)
Newcastle 10 (Danny King 5, Lewis Kerr 2, Ludvig Lindgren 1, Stuart Robson 2, Lewis Rose [res] dnr)

Semi-Final B;

Workington 14 (Ricky Wells 3, Kyle Howarth 2, Rene Bach 3, Josh Grajczonek 5, Mason Campton [res] 1)
Edinburgh 14 (Sam Masters 5, Steve Worrall 0, Max Fricke dnr, Craig Cook 5, Justin Sedgmen [res] 5)
Redcar 11 (Aaron Summers 2, Carl Wilkinson 3, Richard Lawson 4, Hugh Skidmore 2, Jan Graversen [res] dnr)
Berwick 9 (Claus Vissing 1, Matthew Wethers 0, Kevin Doolan 2, David Bellego 3, Matej Kůs [res] 3)

Final;

Somerset 24 (Olly Allen 8, Pontus Aspgren 6, Brady Kurtz 0, Nick Morris 7, Charles Wright [res] 4)
Workington 18 (Ricky Wells 1, Kyle Howarth 4, Rene Bach 6, Josh Grajczonek 7, Mason Campton [res] dnr)
Scunthorpe 15 (Thomas Jorgensen 2, Ashley Birks 3, Ryan Douglas 4, David Howe 6, Matt Williamson [res] dnr)
Edinburgh 15 (Sam Masters 3, Steve Worrall 5, Max Fricke dnr, Craig Cook 3, Justin Sedgmen [res] 4)


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