LATE FLURRY REBELS TAKE TOP SPOT SEVEN YEARS AGO TODAY

Wednesday September 16, 2020
Seven years ago a delayed fixture due to adverse weather was staged on this very day and the outcome of it was to see the Somerset Rebels claim top spot in the Premier league.


Their Oaktree Arena clash with Ipswich had hastily been re-arranged after the scheduled staging on Friday 13th September proved luckless due to the weather, but the weekend wait was worth it as the two teams fought out an intense battle that had the Rebels prevailing by the narrow 46-44 score.

Both sides were missing their respective number ones as they were both on duty for top flight club Birmingham, who were also involved in a re-arranged fixture, meaning Jason Doyle was absent for the home team and Ipswich were without Ben Barker, thus rider replacement effectively balanced things out. The change of date also coincided with a fixture for Swindon which meant the Rebels had to go into the meeting without Nick Morris too, and so Anders Mellgren, a veteran from 2011, was called upon to guest.

Sensing the opportunity to go top, the visitors set the early pace and refused to allow the Rebels the chance to build any sort of lead. In fact it was the Witches that were to boast the highest points advantage, going six up within two heats and it took until the end of heat six before the Rebels were able to square the match up.
After eight heats, with a 5-1 from Ritchie Hawkins and Cameron Heeps backing up a Leigh Lanham and Rohan Tungate 4-2 in the seventh, that six point deficit again confronted the Rebels.

Alex Davies and Mellgren closed the gap with a 5-1 and a Josh Grajczonek-led 4-2 with Kyle Newman took the scores to a tennis sounding thirty all. Still no opportunity presented itself for the home side to edge ahead as the Witches banged in successive 4-2 heat scores for a 38-34 lead with just three heats remaining.

Grajczonek and Newman again came to the rescue, split by Heeps, in heat 13 before Charles Wright and Davies gave the home fans something to a cheer about - the rare sight of the Rebels leading on the night - with a 5-1 in the penultimate race.

With everything to ride for, Tungate was just a bit too keen initially in heat 15 and the race was called back. Second time around the Witches switched their attentions to trying to clamp down Davies but in doing so they left ample room for Grajczonek to make a swoop to go into the lead and finish the night as the meeting's highest scorer with 13 points and more importantly save the defeat that had looked likely for much of the affair.

Scorers:
Somerset 46 - J.Grajczonek 13 (R,2,3,2,3,3); A.Davies 12+2; A.Mellgren (Guest) 8+2 (0,1',3,2',2); C.Wright 8 (2,3,0,0,3); K.Newman 5 (1,1,1,1,1); D.Ritchings (Guest) 0 (0,0,0)
Ipswich 44 - C.Heeps 12+1 (3,R,2',3,2,2); L.Lanham 10 (3,1,3,2,1); R.Tungate 7+2 (2',0,1,0,3,1'); R.Hawkins 6+1 (1,1',3,1,0,0); A.Ellis 6 (3,2,0,1); M.Risager 3 (2,0,1)



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