Wednesday June 19, 2019
Table-topping Leicester Lions maintained their excellent form as they got their claws into the 'Cases' Rebels from the very outset of this Championship league fixture and whilst it would be unfair to say they ravaged the Rebels, the hungry Lions refused to allow home side to recover from that early onslaught.

Sharper-gating, particularly in the early heats, proved to be a large difference between the two sides and whilst reserve Anders Rowe took the victory in heat 2 after the Rebels conceded a 5-1 to the quick away Ellis Perks and Scott Nicholls in the opener, it was a rare win for Somerset riders in the early trading. The Somerset pair of Valentin Grobauer and Nico Covatti lost a couple of yards each off the start, the Rebels' German 'find' doing well to battle his way into second place at the expense of Leicester's top averaging away rider Ryan Douglas whilst Josh Bates banked the win.

Skipper Chris Harris had to work tirelessly in heat four to overcome ex-Rebel Richie Worrall in heat four but runaway leader Connor Mountain was just never in his range and the home side found themselves eight points adrift.

Harris was called out again in the fifth, as a tactical substitute which he won in style but Perks' resilience over Nico Covatti was just strong enough to deny the Rebels the full heat advantage, but at least they had taken two points off the deficit. Rory Schlein and Todd Kurtz added another 4-2 to the cause before Chris Harris fended off an early alert from Douglas but with Henry Atkins still struggling to open his account the Rebels had to settle for a shared heat.

Likewise in heat eight as Kurtz came through the traffic for the win but Anders Rowe's good efforts dissipated under recovery from Perks and Mountain.

Birthday boy Nico Covatti had something extra to celebrate when he took the victory in heat nine, Grobauer having to work harder than he would have liked to wrestle by Jack Thomas but in doing so it took Somerset to within striking distance of the Lions, trailing 26-28.

Then came the visitors' succour punch as Douglas and Bates inflicted a 5-1 on Schlein and Kurtz to re-establish a six point advantage. An intense battle between past British Champions unfolded in heat 11, the Rebels' skipper Chris Harris prevailing over Lions' captain Scott Nicholls, but again the heat was shared and time was running out for a full Rebels recovery.

A point for Connor Mountain from heat 12 left Somerset needing to climb one as Bates had scored the win over Atkins and Leicester increased that lead to 32-40. Nicholls' win in heat 13 followed by a gallant Douglas victory in heat 14 underlined the Lions' strength but at least Harris and Schlein sent the home fans on their way with a 4-2 heat advantage from heat 15 to remember.

R.Schlein 0,3,1,1',1=6+1
T.Kurtz 1,1,3,0=5
V.Grobauer 2,1,0=3
N.Covatti 0,1,3,1'=5+1
C.Harris 2,3,3,3,2,3=16
A.Rowe 3,0,0,2=5
H.Atkins 0,0,0,2=2

S.Nicholls 2',0,2,3=7+1
E.Perks 3,2,2,1'=8+1
J.Bates 3,1',2',3,0=9+2
R.Douglas 1,2,3,3,2=11
R.Worrall 1,2,2,0=5
J.Thomas 2,FD,0=2
C.Mountain 1',3,1',1,0=6+2

Ht 1: E.Perks, S.Nicholls, T.Kurtz, R.Schlein 1-5 1-5 |56.5]
Ht 2: A.Rowe, J.Thomas, C.Mountain, H.Atkins 3-3 4-8 [57.41]
Ht 3: J.Bates, V.Grobauer, R.Douglas, N.Covatti 2-4 6-12 [57.28]
Ht 4: C.Mountain, C.Harris, R.Worrall, H.Atkins 2-4 8-16 [57.25]
Ht 5: C.Harris (TS), E.Perks, N.Covatti, S.Nicholls 4-2 12-18 [57.01]
Ht 6: R.Schlein, R.Worrall, T.Kurtz, J.Thomas (Fell d/q) 4-2 16-20 [Awd]
Ht 7: C.Harris, R.Douglas, J.Bates, H.Atkins 3-3 19-23 [57.31]
Ht 8: T.Kurtz, E.Perks, C.Mountain, A.Rowe 3-3 22-26 [58.19]
Ht 9: N.Covatti, R.Worrall, V.Grobauer, J.Thomas 4-2 26-28 [58.25]
Ht 10: R.Douglas, J.Bates, R.Schlein, T.Kurtz 1-5 27-33 [57.57]
Ht 11: C.Harris, S.Nicholls, E.Perks, A.Rowe 3-3 30-36 [57.69]
Ht 12: J.Bates, H.Atkins, C.Mountain, V.Grobauer 2-4 32-40 [58]
Ht 13: S.Nicholls, C.Harris, R.Schlein, R.Worrall 3-3 35-43 [58.19]
Ht 14: R.Douglas, A.Rowe, N.Covatti, C.Mountain 3-3 38-46 [58.12]
Ht 15: C.Harris, R.Douglas, R.Schlein, J.Bates 4-2 42-48 [58.25]
Gates: LEICESTER won toss and chose gates 1&3 | SOMERSET took gates 1&3 in heat 15
Referee Christina Turnbull

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