Friday June 07, 2013
Prior to this encounter there were many who saw this meeting as being a tight match, but one that would see the ‘Cases Somerset Rebels’ winning in the end by a 8 to 10 point margins. What they certainly didn’t expect was the total destruction of a rival that had, over the years, often been a thorn in the Rebels side.

The Rye House Rockets arrived at the Oak Tree Arena with a side, which on paper at least, looked capable of doing some damage in the home side’s pursuit of the 2013 League title, but left diminished, and in disarray after being handed down a 32-point defeat by the victorious Rebels.

The meeting looked to have got off to a close start in Heat 1, as the Rocket restricted Somerset to a drawn heat, after Jason Doyle was excluded for bringing down Oliver Allen at the start of the second lap. In the original start, Kyle Newman made a great start to lead onto the back straight. Doyle who had been unusually slowly away, made up ground, and at the start of the second lap, came under Allen as he made his bid for third place. With Allen not willing to give up the place, Doyle made contact, and Allen went down, stopping the race, with Chris Durno making the only decision he could, and excluding Doyle. In the restart, Newman again made a great start, and rode a superb bend to lead from Jason Bunyan. From the second lap, he easily outpaced the Milton Keynes born rider to take the win and share the points.

Pre meeting the reserves looked to be the area that might eventually tip the balance in the Rebels favour, and in Heat 2 they demonstrated exactly why. Stefan Nielsen made a superb start, bolting off the tapes to easily lead before they had gone more than 10 yards. Lewis Kerr, who was deputising for the injured Tom Perry, disputed second place with Simon Lambert to the turn, before cutting up his inside to grab second place off Bend 2. Once behind Nielsen, he still had Lambert on his tail to contend with, which he did with some aplomb. Once Lambert dropped away, Kasper Lykke took up the chase, but once more Kerr held him off in style, to give the Rebels a full 5-1 win.

Heat 3 went the same way, with the home side posting another maximum advantage. This time the recipients of the Rockets largesse were Alex Davies and Nick Morris. Davies charged into the lead right from the off, with former Rebel Anders Mellgren close up in second. Nick Morris did not make the best of starts, but by the third turn he was steaming after the Swede, and with his rear wheel firmly planted in the dirt, he came barrelling around the wide line, storming into second place behind Davies. Once together at the front it was almost plain sailing to the flag for the pair, with only a brief moment for Davies, when he picked up grip and ran wide on the second bend of Lap 2, threatening to spoil the party.

To add to the Rockets woes, the Rebels made it a hat trick of 5-1’s in the next heat. This time there was no element of doubt, as Josh Grajczonek and Lewis Kerr jetted from the gate to lead all the way. Robert Mear briefly held a challenging position, but not for long, as the Rebels duo pulled clear with some ease from the end of the opening lap. Simon Lambert retired at the final bend of the race.

John Sampford wasted no time in introducing the ‘Black and White’, sending Oliver Allen to the line as the wearer of the tactical helmet colour. As the tapes rose, Allen and the rest of the field broke level, but he was soon chasing the back of the Rebels duo, who were in turn chasing Jason Bunyan, who had made the best of the start. Whilst Allen never offered a threat to the Rebels, Alex Davies was not letting Bunyan escape, and explored all the available lines in his attempt to find a way to the front, but eventually the experienced Rocket rode a great race to hold off the charging Davies. Nick Morris, a long way in front of the docile Allen, took the minor place to share the heat.

The Rebels may have only shared the points, but in reality it was only a brief respite for the Hoddesdon outfit, and in Heat 6 they back under the cosh. Robert Mear made the best start to lead from the gate, at the same time as Rebels, Jason Doyle and Kyle Newman, made awful getaways. Newman lifted badly, and once again Doyle made another uncharacteristically slow start, as he was clearly feeling his recently sustained hand injury. They may have been badly away, but it didn’t take them long to make up for it, with first Doyle going round the outside of Mear on the back straight, completing the move off the third turn. At the same time, Newman took the inside route, scything past both Mear and Kasper Lykke in one move. That was effectively the end of the race as a spectacle, with the home pairing pulling away for a bloodless maximum.

Heat 7 saw a level break, with Tyson Nelson just showing to the turn, and Josh Grajczonek close up. As Grajczonek took up the running, Nelson made a mistake, taking an unexpected trip to the outer regions of the second bend. Anders Mellgren had taken up the standard for the Rockets, and careered after the Townsville flyer. Mellgren kept Grajczonek up to his task, at the same time as having to fend off the attentions of Stefan Nielsen, who threw down his challenge on the final turn of Lap 2. Try as he might, Nielsen could never truly get in a position that would see him into second place, and in the end had to make do with third, as Mellgren prevented another Rebels full house.

Jason Bunyan arrived at the gate for Heat 8 carrying the hopes for the Rockets second tactical, and whereas he did fare better than Allen in Heat 5, he couldn’t reduce the Rockets deficit. The field broke level, with Lewis Kerr marginally making the best start, leading up to the turn from Bunyan who moved wide, only to find that Kerr had the line. Kyle Newman was soon on the scene, and as Bunyan made another bid for the lead, Kerr cleverly ran him wide, and Newman could do no more than accept the invitation his partner had laid out for him. Newman held off another Bunyan challenge at the end of the lap, but from there on it was plain sailing, as he rode shotgun to Kerr’s lead.

The result of Heat 9 was never in doubt from the moment the tapes rose. Alex Davies led from the get-go, with Nick Morris quickly going from third off the line, to second place before the turn. The further they went, the further the Rebels twosome pulled clear, from a very out of sorts Robert Mear, with Kasper Lykke bringing up the rear.

The Rockets stemmed the flow of points over the next couple of heats, with two shared races, but in truth they were only postponing the inevitable, and in fact the Rebels passed the 45-point mark in the second of these shared encounters.

Heat 10 was started twice, with the original running being called back immediately the tapes rose, following a lot of movement at the start, with Tyson Nelson appearing to be the main culprit. In start two, Anders Mellgren made a great break to lead up with Kyle Newman, before heading out into the dirt, and powering around the boards to lead down the backs straight. For the third time in succession, Jason Doyle got a poor start, but made it by Nelson before the first turn, testing the front two in the process. With Mellgren having pulled away, Doyle was soon in second spot as they ran out onto the second lap, setting off after Mellgren, but the Hagfors man had long gone, and Doyle was chasing his shadow.

Although the visitors took the win in Heat 11, as Oliver Allen took a similar path to the front as his team mate in the previous heat had done, it was the heat, in which the Rebels won the match. With Allen long gone after the opening bend, the Rebels pair took the minor places, with the only anxious moment being on the back straight of the opening lap, where Josh Grajczonek appeared to hamper Stefan Nielsen as he moved into second spot. Jason Bunyan retired on the final lap.

Heat 12 gave Rye House their only heat advantage of the night, when Anders Mellgren led from the tapes. Behind him Kasper Lykke got the better of Lewis Kerr around the second bend, but could not repeat the move on Nick Morris. Morris chased down Mellgren, and by the second bend of Lap 3 he threw down the gauntlet to Mellgren, passing him on the outside and leading into the back straight. However Mellgren was in no mood to capitulate, and using his position up the inside to his advantage, he swept back under Morris on the final curve of the lap to grab back the lead, and take the heat, despite Morris’s persistence.

Jason Doyle made his best start of the night so far, as he led up Heat 13, with Oliver Allen close up, and Robert Mear in third. Josh Grajczonek recovered from his fourth place, to run around the inside line, and join Doyle at the front. From there on the newly crowned PL Pairs Champions team rode the Rocket duo out of contention.

Tyson Nelson may have made the best break in Heat 14, but he had no answer when Stefan Nielsen came over the top, clamping him tight to the kerb in the first turn, taking the lead, and allowing Alex Davies a run around the outside in the process. Once released by Nielsen, Nelson challenged Davies up the inside of the back straight, but the Ipswich based Australian slammed the door hard shut in his face. There was no contact between the two, and despite the fact that Nelson went down, the move may have been hard, but it was totally fair. Much to Nelson’s credit, he picked up his machine, without a hint of complaint, and cleared the track to allow the race to continue to its inevitable conclusion of another Rebels full house.

The nominated heat could have seen any number of home riders take to the track, but in the end that honour fell to Jason Doyle and Alex Davies. On the opposite side of the pits the choice was somewhat limited, with the Rockets tracking the only credible choice of Oliver Allen and Anders Mellgren. When the green light came on Anders Mellgren touched the tapes, as he appeared to suffer from a dragging clutch. In the restart Mellgren went off the 15-metre handicap, as Jason Doyle led up. Allen was never far away, and he got the better of Doyle around the outside of the turn, with Davies a near third. Doyle chased down Allen, but couldn’t find a way by, and by the end of the second lap, Davies had taken up the chase, but he fared no better, as Allen ran out the winner to share the points, as the Rebels posted a 61-29 hammering of their rivals.

As disappointing as the Rye House performance was, so the Rebels were superb, with every member of the septet contributing good points. With Jason Doyle suffering from a possible broken finger, sustained in Denmark on Monday, it was up to others to step up to the plate, and step up they did, with top of the shop going to Alex Davies, whose 12+1 haul also earned him the ‘Rider of the Night’ award. On the financial front, earlier in the evening both Kyle Newman and Stefan Nielsen picked up awards from the Speedway Riders Equipment Fund.

The Rebels now look towards Tuesday and the visit of the Edinburgh Monarchs, with the match being televised live on Sky TV. If the Rebels can maintain the kind of form they displayed tonight that should be a thrilling encounter to grace the TV screens.

Somerset = 61

1. Jason Doyle X, 3, 2, 2*, 1* = 8+2
2. Kyle Newman 3, 2*, 2*, 1* = 8+3
3. Nick Morris 2*, 1*, 2*, 2 = 7+3
4. Alex Davies 3, 2, 3, 2*, 2 = 12+1
5. Josh Grajczonek 3, 3, 2, 3 = 11
6. Stefan Nielsen 3, 1, 1*, 3 = 8+1
7. Lewis Kerr (G) 2*, 2*, 3, 0 = 7+2

Rye House = 29

1. Oliver Allen 1*, 0^, 3, 1, 3 = 8+1
2. Jason Bunyan 2, 3, 1^, R = 6
3. Anders Mellgren 1, 2, 3, 3, 0 = 9
4. Tyson Nelson 0, 0, 0, F = 0
5. Robert Mear 1, 1, 1, 0 = 3
6. Kasper Lykke 1, 0, 0, 1 = 2
7. Simon Lambert 0, R, 0, 1 = 1

SCB Referee: Chris Durno

Heat Details

Heat 01: (Re-run) Newman, Bunyan, Allen, Doyle (exc) (3-3) (3-3) 58.72
Heat 02: Nielsen, Kerr, Lykke, Lambert (5-1) (8-4) 58.87
Heat 03: Davies, Morris, Mellgren, Nelson (5-1) (13-5) 58.22
Heat 04: Grajczonek, Kerr, Mear, Lambert (ret) (5-1) (18-6) 59.85
Heat 05: Bunyan, Davies, Morris, Allen (Tactical) (3-3) (21-9) 58.57
Heat 06: Doyle, Newman, Mear, Lykke (5-1) (26-10) 59.10
Heat 07: Grajczonek, Mellgren, Nielsen, Nelson (4-2) (30-12) 59.69
Heat 08: Kerr, Newman, Bunyan (Tactical), Lambert (5-1) (35-13) 59.78
Heat 09: Davies, Morris, Mear, Lykke (5-1) (40-14) 59.06
Heat 10: (Re-run) Mellgren, Doyle, Newman, Nelson (3-3) (43-17) 58.85
Heat 11: Allen, Grajczonek, Nielsen, Bunyan (ret) (3-3) (46-20) 59.13
Heat 12: Mellgren, Morris, Lykke, Kerr (2-4) (48-24) 59.68
Heat 13: Grajczonek, Doyle, Allen, Mear (5-1) (53-25) 59.98
Heat 14: Nielsen, Davies, Lambert, Nelson (Fell) (5-1) (58-26) 59.56
Heat 15: Allen, Davies, Doyle, Mellgren (3-3) (61-29) 59.90

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