Friday May 17, 2013
A sudden and unexpected downpour after just 4 heats put paid to what was shaping up to be a great encounter between the ‘Case’s Somerset Rebels’ and the ‘Sheffield Tigers’.

After 4 heats the watching crowd were subject to the surreal sight of bright sunshine bathing the arena, whilst a huge black cloud on the other side of the track proceeded to dump its considerable contents all over the area. The deluge didn’t last too long, but it was of sufficient quantity to eventually make the track unraceable, despite the track staffs valiant efforts and the riders desire to complete the meeting.

The meeting opened with a superb ride by Kyle Newman, who produced a fine start to contest the early running with Ollie Allen, who was deputising for the absent Simon Stead. The pair were wheel-to-wheel around the first bend, and Allen looked like he would guide past Newman and take up the running, but he reckoned without Newman’s undoubted tenacity. Newman stuck to his task, and repelled every thrust of Allen’s challenges. For three pulsating laps the pair were side by side, swapping lines on the tracks as the Tigers’ guest probed outside and in, before Newman eased out a small lead towards the beginning of the final lap. Even then Allen never gave him a minute’s peace, and he had to be right on his mettle to take a superb win. Behind them, Nicolai Klindt took a steady third place after Facundo Albin retired on the opening lap. Klindt was deputising for Jason Doyle, who was riding for Birmingham in the Elite League, as they had priority over the date for this re-arranged fixture.

Heat 2 saw the Rebels duo of Tom Perry and Stefan Nielsen take the hard route to a maximum heat win. The pair were out-gated by Jake Knight, who led until Perry stormed past him on the run to the third turn. Nielsen took considerably long to stamp his authority on Knight, as he steadily closed down the Tigers man, and eventually made his move on the outside of the second bend of the penultimate lap.

A level break heralded the start of Heat 3, but it wasn’t long before Alex Davies and Nicolai Klindt hit the front. The pair team rode the opening couple of laps, before Klindt, who was rider replacement for the still injured Nick Morris, pulled out a slight lead on his team mate, but by this time they had comfortably put the race to bed, with Joe Haines taking the minor honours.

Josh Grajczonek continued his recent fine form, with another great win in the following heat. As the field broke level, he was in the mix in the first turn, before storming around the wide line off the next bend to lead into the back straight. Tom Perry took a big lift just after the start, which put him at the rear before they had reached the bend. As Grajczonek made the best of his way home, Perry was engaged in a battle with Damien Koppe, in which he prevailed with a wide run on the opening turns of the second lap. The action didn’t end there, as the young Midlander closed down Ricky Wells to such effect that he was in a challenging position by the final bend of the next lap. The pressure from Perry appeared to force Wells into a mistake, as he locked up out of the turn. However Perry couldn’t take advantage, as Well’s mistake seemed to put the Rebels reserve off, as he too locked up as he delivered his challenge. Perry’s chance was gone, as Well’s got the breathing space he needed to re-establish his second place.

With the Rebels in a commanding lead, in a meeting that was shaping up to be a night of superb racing, despite the current score line, and the riders appearing on track in preparation for Heat 5, the heavens opened, with a monumental downpour that left some of the watching crowd convinced that they had seen a large wooden boat, populated by a bearded old man and menagerie of animals, float by.

Once the rain eased of the track staff were out trying to rescue the situation, but despite their gallant efforts and the two team’s determination to finish the meeting, the track was eventually deemed unraceable, and in the interest of rider safety, the referee called the meeting off.

Somerset = 18

1. Nicolai Klindt (G) 1, 3
2. Kyle Newman 3
3. Nick Morris Rider Replacement
4. Alex Davies 2'
5. Josh Grajczonek 3
6. Stefan Nielsen 2'
7. Tom Perry 3, 1

Sheffield = 06

1. Oliver Allen (G) 2
2. Facundo Albin R
3. Joe Haines 1
4. Richard Hall Rider Replacement
5. Ricky Wells 2
6. Jake Knight 1, 0
7. Damien Koppe 0, 0

Somerset win toss take 1 and 3

Heat Results
Heat 01: Newman, Allen, Klindt, Albin (ret) (4-2) (4-2) 57.4
Heat 02: Perry, Nielsen, Knight, Koppe (5-1) (9-3) 58.6
Heat 03: Klindt, Davies, Haines, Knight (5-1) (14-4) 58.3
Heat 04: Grajczonek, Wells, Perry, Koppe (4-2) (18-6) 57.7


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