Saturday August 17, 2013
After the disappointment of just missing out on a league point the previous night at Edinburgh, the ‘Cases’ Rebels lined up at Berwick just 24 hours later looking for 4 league points that would see them move back to the top of the Premier League.

For the opening 4 heats, however, those hopes looked to be a long way off as Doyle apart, the Rebels were very much 2nd best out of the tapes, and on a track that offered very little opportunity for passing, gating was to be the key element which would determine the outcome of this match.

Doyle shot out of the tapes in heat 1 to take a comfortable win, and with Kyle Newman holding off Berwick’s returning ‘Prodigal Son’ Sebastian Aldén for 3rd place, the Swede eventually retiring from the race, it gave Somerset an early 2 point lead.

That lead quickly evaporated when the home reserves were largely untroubled in securing a maximum heat win for the Bandits, it starting a run of three consecutive races that were to see home riders take the chequered flag ahead of a Somerset rider, it moving Berwick into a 6 point lead after the first 4 heats.

Whether it was some changes to set-up’s or the fact the Somerset riders needed a race each to adapt to the heavy track conditions, or a combination of both, but after those initial 4 heats Somerset were a completely different proposition, they now being far superior from the gate, Jason Doyle and Kyle Newman cutting the Bandits’ lead to 4 points with a 4-2 in heat 5, and just 2 heats later the Rebels were back on level terms, Davies, having changed his bike after his initial steed gave him problems in his opening ride, stormed to the race win.

Another 4-2 to Somerset looked to be on the cards with Josh Grajczonek holing a comfortable 3rd place behind Kozza Smith, but when Smith tried a move that one can only describe as ‘ambitious’ at best, but more realistically it being ‘doomed to failure,’ on the 2nd bend of the last lap, it saw him come crashing to the ground to gift Somerset their first maximum heat win of the night.

With Kyle Newman winning heat 8 and Simon Lambert getting the better of Nikki Barrett for 3rd place, it moved Somerset back into the lead for the first time since the opening heat, while 2 successive drawn heats maintained that slender advantage, Morris and Grajczonek flying out of the tapes on both occasions to take the race wins, though it could have been so much better for the Rebels when Davies’ bike shed a chain late on in the second of those races while in a point’s scoring position.

Heat 11 was to see Somerset put clear daylight between themselves and their hosts as the Rebels opened up a 6 point lead, though it was to involve misfortune for the Bandits. With Doyle already away and gone at the head of proceedings, Berwick’s Danish reserve Nikki Barrett came to grief on the 3rd turn, and although it was an innocuous-looking incident, he had team-mate Kozza Smith right behind him, and the Bandits’ skipper was left nowhere to go but to run into the stricken Barrett, which also sent Smith crashing to the deck.

After on-track treatment by the paramedics, the upshot was that both Barrett and Smith were to withdraw from the meeting, they both being transferred to the local hospital as a consequence of the incident.

The re-run saw Doyle and Newman combine for a 5-1 heat win to put Somerset 6 points to the good, that soon becoming 10 just 2 heats later when it was Nick Morris’ turn to be Doyle’s partner in a maximum 5-1 heat win, though this was not without some degree of drama.

With Morris holding the lead, he and Doyle being well ahead of the disappointing Aldén, he picked up some unwanted grip in the first turn on the penultimate lap that saw his bike bucking and rearing violently towards the Shielfield Park safety fence, but with everyone fearing the worst, Morris not only brought his bike back under control, which was a minor miracle in itself, but he did so without Aldén coming through into 2nd place!

With Somerset now in the ascendency, they pushed on in their quest for those all-important 4 league points, and heat 14 was to be a milestone for two different reasons, as it firstly provided Berwick with their first race winner since Kozza Smith took the chequered flag in heat 4, Matthew Wethers having the dubious honour, while it was also to see the only genuine pass of the whole match outside of the opening turns, when Alex Davies made a nice cut-back on Paul Starke to move into 3rd place on the 2nd lap.

The Rebels wrapped up the match with their 3rd maximum race-win in 5 heats, it being their 4th ‘full house’ of the match as a whole, Doyle and Grajczonek doing ‘the honours,’ Doyle’s win rounding off a faultless 5-ride maximum for the Somerset captain as they took victory 52-38, their 14-point winning margin ensuring the maximum 4 league points would be going the way of the Rebels to move them back to the top of the Premier League table.

S Aldén R 2 2 1 - - - 5
D Bellego 2 1* 2 1* - - - 6+2
R Aspegren 3 R 2 1* 1 - - 7+1
M Wethers 1 2 1* 3 0 - - 7+1
K Smith 3 F N - - - - 3
N Barrett 2* T 0 X - - - 2+1
P Starke 3 1 1 1 2 0 - 8
Team Manager: Ian Rae

J Doyle 3 3 3 3 3 - - 15
K Newman 1 1 3 2* - - - 4+1
J Grajczonek 2 2* 3 3 2* - - 12+2
A Davies R 3 R 1* - - - 4+1
N Morris 2 3 3 2* - - - 10+1
S Nielsen 0 0 0 - - - - 0
S Lambert 1 0 1 0 2 - - 4
Team Manager: Garry May

Referee: Peter Clarke

1: Doyle, Bellego, Newman, Aldén (ret), 64.4 (2-4)
2: Starke, Barrett, Lambert, Nielsen, 65.8 (7-5)
3: Aspegren, Grajczonek, Wethers, Davies (ret), 65.5 (11-7)
4: Smith, Morris, Starke, Lambert, 65.2 (15-9)
5: Doyle, Wethers, Newman, Aspegren (ret), 64.6 (17-13)
6: Morris, Aldén, Bellego, Nielsen, 64.8 (20-16)
7: (re-run x 2) Davies, Grajczonek, Starke, Smith (f), Barrett (exc, tapes), 65.4 (21-21)
8: Newman, Bellego, Lambert, Barrett, 66.3 (23-25)
9: Morris, Aspegren, Wethers, Nielsen, 65.2 (26-28)
10: (re-run) Grajczonek, Aldén, Bellego, Davies (ret), 65.9 (29-31)
11: (re-run) Doyle, Newman, Starke, Barrett (f.exc), Smith (f.ns), 66.8 (30-36)
12: Grajczonek, Starke, Wethers, Lambert, 66.5 (33-39)
13: Doyle, Morris, Aldén, Smith (ns), 66.7 (34-44)
14: Wethers, Lambert, Davies, Starke, 67.4 (37-47)
15: Doyle, Grajczonek, Aspegren, Wethers, 66.5 (38-52)

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