Saturday August 10, 2013
Just 24 hours earlier the ‘Case’s Somerset Rebels’ had comprehensively outgunned the Plymouth Devils at the Oak Tree Arena, but the return fixture was run on the confines of the Devils home shale at the diminutive St Boniface Arena, a totally different proposition that the Rebels home circuit.

The Rebels were unchanged, except for a reversal of the two reserves, whilst the Devils were without Mikkel Bech, who was participating in the World U21 Championship round at Berwick. The Devils ran Rider Replacement for Bech, with Matthew Wethers taking the guest spot for the injured Cory Gathercole.

The Rebels got off to a flying start in Heat 1, as Jason Doyle zipped out of the gate top lead into the turn from Mark Lemon, who took the replacement ride. Meanwhile Kyle Newman slipped up the inside of Matthew Wethers through the opening turns to grab third place. Lemon pressed Doyle early on, but a move onto the wide line ended his hopes, and Doyle ran out a very comfortable winner and with Newman in third the Rebels took a 2-4 advantage.

Heat 2 saw the Devils pairing of Todd Kurtz and Jake Anderson lead into the opening curve from Stefan Nielsen. Nielsen gave chase, but ran into the third turn too hard, and slipped off, with Simon Lambert quickly laying down behind him. The rerun took place without Nielsen, but the result was never in doubt after the Devils duo repeated their earlier flying start, and easily accounted for Lambert, with Kurtz running out the winner.

The Rebels quickly restored their small lead, as their ‘Dynamic Duo’ of Alex Davies and Nick Morris added yet another maximum advantage to their recent tally. Nick Morris bolted from the gate to lead inside the first turn, and when Davies went outside Hynek Stichauer on the same band, it was race over. Rasmus Jensen quickly took third, but was to yield that place back to Stichauer later, when he got out of shape. At the front Davies continued his run down the back straight to go past his partner running to the third turn, before going on to take the win from Morris.

The next heat was shared, with the Devils providing the winner. The race took two attempts to start, with the original effort being called back when Mark Lemon made a huge jump at the start. In the restart Lemon again made a slick getaway, but this time legally, and was into the first turn in front of Stefan Nielsen. Josh Grajczonek was soon past his partner, and in pursuit of Lemon. As hard as Grajczonek tried, he couldn’t peg back Lemon, and with Nielsen holding off the hard pressing Todd Kurtz, the points were shared.

The Rebels increased their lead when they added a second 2-4 advantage to the score sheet. Jason Doyle made a second quick getaway in as many races, and moved wide in the first turn to power away from Rasmus Jensen. Kyle Newman was quickly past Hynek Stichauer in the opening curve, and chased down Jensen. He made a hard challenge up the inside of Jensen on the final bend of the lap, but the Dane held firm, and shut Newman out, to prevent the Rebels adding another maximum to their score.

Two shared heats followed, as the Rebels tried to break the Devils resolve. Heat 6 saw Josh Grajczonek lead straight from the tape rise, with Simon Lambert following up. Rasmus Jensen, in for Bech, charged after Lambert, catching him on the third turn, and forcing him wide in a very hard move that saw Lambert almost come to a standstill, and allowing Matthew Wethers through into third spot. Jensen chased Grajczonek, but could never get close enough to deliver a meaningful challenge, before Grajczonek pulled away after the second lap.

The next was also shared, with the Devils providing the winner on this occasion. Mark Lemon blasted from the tapes to lead every yard of the way, with Alex Davies not far way. Davies kept Lemon up to his task, but despite closing in the final stages, he could not get to the experienced Victorian. Nick Morris held off Jake Anderson with some ease, but appeared to mistake the start line, which is a few yards short of the finish, and slowed just as he reached the start, allowing Anderson to quickly close the gap, but Morris just held on at the flag.

The Devils squared the match in Heat 8, when Todd Kurtz bolted off the line to lead into the first turn, with Stefan Nielsen on his wheel. Matthew Wethers past Kyle Newman to the bend, but Newman hit back around the wide line, and the pair raced side-by-side down the back straight. They caught Nielsen on the third turn, and ran three abreast around the final turn of the lap. Wethers got inside Nielsen, and moved him wide into the straight. Newman was caught up in the moved, getting squeezed up before the finish line. Nielsen continued to chase down Wethers, but a little inexperience caused him to block and keep the faster Newman out of the chase, and the Devils banked a 5-1 advantage.

After his first two rides, including a win over Rasmus Jensen, you might have expected Josh Grajczonek to repeat the dose when the pair met again in Heat 9, but it was Jensen who blazed off the tapes to lead to the turn, with his partner close up. Grajczonek moved out onto the wide line, and by bend four he was on Hynek Stichauer’s tail pipe, and pressing hard. For four laps Grajczonek tried to find a route by the Pardubice born rider, but Stichauer was not for passing, and despite exploring all the available lines around the St Boniface track, he was still short at the line, and the Devils surprisingly moved into a 4-point lead.

Stichauer was out again in the next heat, and had a major role in the way the heat panned out. Alex Davies flew from the gate to make every yard a winning one, but behind him the other three made a fairly level break. Nick Morris came off the outside gate, with Stichauer immediately inside. When they reached the turn, Morris tried to turn in, but Stichauer appeared to continue straight on, stopping Morris in his tracks, and taking him out of the race. Despite Morris’s protestations, Daniel Holt allowed the race to continue, with Morris sat on the centre green. Davies was well clear, and easily took the win, and a share of the points.

Jason Doyle flashed off the gate in Heat 11, beating Mark Lemon into the curve, whilst Doyle was dealing with Lemon, Jake Anderson, who had also made a great start, cruised around the widest of lines to lead into the back straight from a stunned Doyle. Doyle gave chase to Anderson, but the 23-year-old Ardmona man held all the aces, and Doyle never got in a blow. Meanwhile Kyle Newman was harassing Lemon, and on the third lap was close up, and moved out wide off the final turn of the lap, to force his way into third place and keep the Rebels in the hunt.

The gap was down to two points after Heat 12, when Nick Morris came from behind Rasmus Jensen to take the win. The pair disputed the start, but it was Jensen who led into the turn. Morris closed him down over the rest of the lap, and came with a good run to move into the lead as they raced back to the start. Jensen was determined not to let Morris get away, but on the first bend of the next lap he ran wide, letting Stefan Nielsen close up. Nielsen never got properly on terms and with Jensen pressing hard around the wide line, he had to make do with third place, as Morris made it home in front.

The Rebels were looking to move back into the lead in Heat 13, but a slow start from Josh Grajczonek scuppered that. Jason Doyle came off the back of a quick start, to power around early leader Matthew Wethers out by the fence on the second curve, before going on to take a effortless victory. Grajczonek chased Mark Lemon, but couldn’t make progress, and never troubled third place.

The leveller came in Heat 14, with Alex Davies coming from behind early leaders, Jake Anderson and Stefan Nielsen. As the pair broke quickly, Davies slipped up the inside of the first turn, and was in front as they entered the back straight. As Davies headed for the hills, Anderson was fending off a hard charging Nielsen. Anderson moved out to the dirt line, using the extra grip to stay ahead of the Rebels man, and in turn preventing the visitors from moving in front.

With the match now in the balance, the Rebels could not afford to slip up, and a shared heat was the minimum acceptable outcome. Mark Lemon had been superb at the gate all night, and he confounded the Rebels with another blast off the line, leading into the bend in front of the Rebels pairing of Alex Davies and Jason Doyle, but like his first ride he was just too eager, and was called back by Daniel Holt. In the restart he flew from the tapes again, this time with partner Rasmus Jensen for company.

The Devils looked to have sewn up the meeting, but Doyle and Davies had other ideas. Doyle moved up the inside of Jensen on the second turn, and careered after Lemon. Davies was next to make his move, and on turn three he was through and into third, leaving Jensen at the rear. Doyle was all over Lemon, covering every speck of shale in an attempt to pass his World Cup Team manager. In the meantime, behind them a hard battle was raging as Jensen put some pretty hard inside moves on Davies in his quest for third place, but every time Jensen moved back to third, Davies re-passed him, and powered back into third spot. It was spectacular, breathless stuff that had fans of both sides on their feet cheering on their particular man, with the outcome in doubt right up to the line. In the end the heat and match were tied, in what was probably a fair result when all things were considered.

For the Devils Mark Lemon had been superb, with a top scoring 12+1, and was ably backed up by Rasmus Jensen and Matthew Wethers, but the tie maker was probably Jake Anderson’s Heat 11 ride to beat Jason Doyle. For the Rebels Jason Doyle top scored with 13-points, and was closely followed by the superb Alex Davies, with 12+1. Davies has never before enjoyed such a great evening at the SBA, and will freely admit it’s not his favourite place, but his performance here was a joy to watch.

The Rebels take on Sheffield on Wednesday (14th) evening, before embarking on their Northern Tour, taking in Edinburgh, Berwick and Glasgow over the coming weekend.

Plymouth Devils - 45

1. Mikkel Bech – Rider Replacement
2. Matthew Wethers (G) - 0, 1', 2', 2, 2 = 7+2
3. Rasmus Jensen - 0, 2, 2, 3, 2, 0 = 9
4. Hynek Stichauer - 1, 0, 2', 1', 0 = 4+2
5. Mark Lemon - 2, 3, 3, 0, 1', 3 = 12+1
6. Jake Anderson - 2', 0, 3, 2 = 7+1
7. Todd Kurtz - 3, 0, 3, 0 = 6

Somerset Rebels - 45

1. Jason Doyle - 3, 3, 2, 3, 2 = 13
2. Kyle Newman - 1, 1, 0, 1' = 3+1
3. Nick Morris - 2', 1', R, 3 = 6+2
4. Alex Davies - 3, 2, 3, 3, 1' = 12+1
5. Josh Grajczonek - 2, 3, 1, 0 = 6
6. Simon Lambert - 1, 0, 0 = 1
7. Stefan Nielsen - F/x, 1', 1, 1, 1 = 4+1

SCB Referee: Daniel Holt

Heat Details

Heat 01: Doyle, Lemon, Newman, Wethers (2-4) (2-4) 51.59
Heat 02: (Re-run) Kurtz, Anderson, Lambert, Nielsen (f/x) (5-1) (7-5) 52.25
Heat 03: Davies, Morris, Stichauer, Jensen (1-5) (8-10) 51.93
Heat 04: (Re-run) Lemon, Grajczonek, Nielsen, Kurtz (3-3) (11-13) 51.69
Heat 05: Doyle, Jensen, Newman, Stichauer (2-4) (13-17) 50.29
Heat 06: Grajczonek, Jensen, Wethers, Lambert (3-3) (16-20) 51.84
Heat 07: Lemon, Davies, Morris, Anderson (3-3) (19-23) 51.81
Heat 08: Kurtz, Wethers, Nielsen, Newman (5-1) (24-24) 52.53
Heat 09: Jensen, Stichauer, Grajczonek, Lambert (5-1) (29-25) 50.29
Heat 10: Davies, Wethers, Stichauer, Morris (ret) (3-3) (32-28) 51.50
Heat 11: Anderson, Doyle, Newman, Lemon (3-3) (35-31) 52.04
Heat 12: Morris, Jensen, Nielsen, Kurtz (2-4) (37-35) 50.91
Heat 13: Doyle, Wethers, Lemon, Grajczonek (3-3) (40-38) 51.69
Heat 14: Davies, Anderson, Nielsen, Stichauer (2-4) (42-42) 52.37
Heat 15: (Re-run) Lemon, Doyle, Davies, Jensen (3-3) (45-45) 51.91

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