Friday September 27, 2013
The ‘Case’s’ Somerset Rebels took a huge step towards Premier League Knock Out Cup glory, as they comprehensively trounced the Rye House Rockets at the Oak Tree Arena in the first leg of the final.

Both sides were short handed, with Nick Morris, and Alex Davies for the Rebels and Tyson Nelson for the Rockets, all being in the Czech Republic, as part of the Australian squad in the Under-21 Team World Cup. Rider replacement operated for Morris and Nelson, whilst Nicolai Klindt stood in for Davies. Both sides were also without regular reserves, as Oliver Greenwood and Josh Bates stood in for Lewis Rose and Jason Garrity respectively.

In the early stages the Rockets kept it tight, but from Heat 5 onwards the Rebels turned the screw, applying the pressure with every successive race, to the extent that from that point on the Rockets only supplied one heat winner, and one advantage, with both coming in Heat 11.

The meeting opened in regulation fashion, as Jason Doyle blasted from the tapes to lead all the way from Olly Allen. Kyle Newman pressed Allen in the first turn, and again later during the next two laps, but could not find a way to second spot. That was the way it stayed, until late in the piece, as Kasper Lykke closed down on Newman, but in truth he was never going to take the place away from the Weymouth based man.

The next three heats were shared, with the Rebels supplying two of the three winners. Charles Wright continued the fine form that prompted Garry May to sign him in the first place, as he shot from the tapes to lead up Kasper Lykke and Josh Bates. The slow starting Oliver Greenwood was soon pressuring the Rockets Duo, however they blocked him out, and he could never improve his position.

Nicolai Klindt blew from the gate to take an early lead from Jason Bunyan and Kyle Newman. Bunyan got the better of the battle for second spot, and the race appeared to be settling into a second heat advantage for the Rebels. That was until Newman, by now in an unchallenged third place, started to slow on the penultimate lap, giving Pontus Aspgren the opportunity to close the gap. On the opening turns of the final circuit, Aspgren cruised past Newman, and his increasingly sick sounding machine. Newman did finish the race, but the bike was very sick indeed, with the trouble later being traced to a blown valve.

One time Rebel, and recent guest for the home side, Anders Mellgren showed that he still knows the fastest way around the Highbridge circuit, as he jumped from the tapes in company with Josh Grajczonek, and moved him wide in the opening turn, before leading into the back straight. Grajczonek’s chase of Mellgren was further hampered as a mistake on the final turn of the lap slowed his progress. As Mellgren went onto an easy victory, Charles Wright chased down Kasper Lykke, and smoothly cruised by him on the opening turns of the second lap, to give the Rebels a share of the points.

That was about as good as it got for the Rockets, as the Rebels now went in to overdrive, and proceeded to grind the visitors into the Oak Tree shale, in an unrelenting display of pressure speedway. Josh Grajczonek back out immediately after his defeat by Mellgren, came from behind a fast starting Olly Allen to take a bloodless victory in Heat 5. Allen was very quickly into his stride, and looked to have the race under his control, but a timely cut back off the second turn, saw Grajczonek fly down the back straight, and slide inside Allen on the third turn, to complete a superb move into the lead. Once there he showed no mercy, and pulled away with every turn of the wheels, despite Allen attempting to re-challenge on the next turn. Behind them Nicolai Klindt held an easy third spot from Josh bates to add another two points to the Rebels small lead.

The Rebels doubled there lead in Heat 6, with Jason Doyle combining with Kyle Newman for a ‘Full House’ of points. Anders Mellgren appeared to anticipate the start, and was moving as the tapes rose, but it was to no avail as Doyle came over the top before the turn, and clamped Mellgren hard to the kerb, at the same time Newman had flown off the start line, and was leading on the wide outside. The pair then set about team riding the Rockets duo out of contention. Towards the close of the race, Kasper Lykke passed his partner, who then retired on the final turn of the race.

Josh Grajczonek added a second win to his tally in the next heat, with a blinding start from the tapes, to lead all the way, and win unchallenged. The Rockets duo of Jason Bunyan and Pontus Aspgren seemed intent on racing each other, with Bunyan just getting the better of the battle at the close of the penultimate lap. Aspgren then slowed as they went out onto the final circuit, before retiring on the back straight, and giving Oliver Greenwood a third place, and the Rebels another advantage.

It was all change in Heat 8, as Charles Wright and Kasper Lykke came in for a reserve switch, and Jason Bunyan reappeared for the rider replacement ride. Charles Wright was quickly into his stride, leading before the turn, from Bunyan and Kyle Newman. As Bunyan moved wide, Lykke came up the inside, and Newman found his route blocked. He was having none of it, and having been shuffled to the back he set off down the back straight at some speed. Switching to the outside, he sailed past Lykke, before cutting back off the final turn, and firing down the inside of Bunyan on the run back to the line. As they entered the first turn again, he moved Bunyan wide, but the experienced campaigner held a strong line, and went back into second down the back straight. Newman immediately repressed Bunyan into the third turn, but could not find his way back to give the Rebels another maximum advantage.

Jason Doyle added a third straight win to his score sheet as he took Heat 9. He led all the way from the tape rise, as Anders Mellgren tried to hold on to his coat tails in the opening exchanges, but Doyle was just too strong for him, and quickly pulled clear. Surprisingly Nicolai Klindt, who had made a reasonable start, had a little trouble shaking off the attentions of Josh Bates in the early stages, with Bates actually getting in front of the Dane at one stage, before Klindt regained the place and pulled away to cement third place. Although he closed on Bunyan on Lap 3, but he could never get in a challenge for second.

Doyle didn’t have time to rest on his laurels, as he was straight back out in the next heat, this time with regular partner, Kyle Newman. As with their last race together, they again hammered home another maximum heat win. The field trapped level, but it was Newman who broke the deadlock, as he led inside the first turn. Almost immediately Doyle was charging around the wide line, and quickly joined his partner at the head of affairs, going on to pull well clear. Pontus Aspgren took up the chase, and closed on Newman at the end of the lap, but Newman had it all under control, holding a superb line around the opening turn of the second laps to nullify the run of the young Swede. As the Rebels then pulled away, Jason Bunyan came through to finally take third place.

Heat 11 saw the Rockets relieve some of the pressure being piled on in every race by the Rebels, but it only proved to be a temporary relief. Olly Allen and Josh Grajczonek broke together, but it was the Rockets top man who took up the running after moving Grajczonek wide in the first turn. Behind them Oliver Greenwood made an early bid for third place, but Pontus Aspgren held his first turn move. Meanwhile Allen seemed to have an unassailable lead, but Grajczonek gradually closed him down over the last two laps. On the final two turns, Grajczonek cut up the inside, but Allen had just too much, and held on with some ease, to give the Rockets their only advantage of the tie.

In the very next heat the unrelenting pressure returned, as the home side pounded the visitors with their third maximum advantage of the night. Charles Wright blasted from the gate to lead up from Nicolai Klindt, but Klindt was soon joining Wright at the front. As Klindt took up the running, Jason Bunyan closed on Wright, and explored every line to find a way into second place, but equally Wright use every inch of the circuit, as he cleverly rode outside and inside lines at opposite ends of the circuit to find the best speed out of the bends, and comfortably keep him in front of the charging Bunyan, giving the Rebels a 20-point lead in the process.

Heat 13 saw win number five added to Jason Doyle’s tally on the night. He blazed away from the tapes ahead of Olly Allen, and Anders Mellgren, who blocked out the slow starting Josh Grajczonek in the early stages. Grajczonek was soon into his stride, and was all over the team riding Rockets down the back straight, as he tried to scythe between the pair. His move wasn’t successful, but he kept on the gas, and was soon on Mellgren’s tail, moving inside and out over the next two laps, until he found a path into third place. He set off in pursuit of Allen, and on the opening turns of the final lap, he cut up the inside, but found no way through. Undaunted he switched outside on the final two turns of the race, and closed quickly on Allen, who then ran wide of the final bend, and appeared to clip the fence on the home straight. Grajczonek closed quickly, but was just short at the line, as Allen held onto second place.

Nicolai Klindt came in for the replacement ride in Heat 14, and did the job admirably, leading down the back straight, after coming from behind the fast starting Pontus Aspgren. He then slammed the door shut as Aspgren tried to get back up his inside on bend three. Charles Wright was never far away, and held an easy third place to the flag, without really getting in a blow on Aspgren.

The nominated heat saw Jason Doyle and Josh Grajczonek take to the track for the Rebels, with John Sampford unsurprisingly sending Olly Allen and Anders Mellgren to the tapes. Doyle and Allen were quickly into their stride, with Doyle heading Allen around the opening turns. Meanwhile Grajczonek had fallen out of the gate, and was at the rear. Down the back straight he relegated Mellgren to last place, and set off after the front two. Allen closed on Doyle, and powered up his inside off the final bend of the lap. As they got to the first turn for the second time, he just held a slender lead, and charged hard up the inside, before moving wide in a very forceful move, which seemingly put Doyle out of contention. However the move left a huge gap up the inside and with Allen now out in the boondocks, the fast closing Grajczonek was only too pleased to accept the invitation, and charged into the lead up the inside of the second turn. Surprisingly, and with no little skill Doyle had made a superb recovery, and followed Grajczonek through the very same wide open gap. Allen’s move not only cost him the win, but it cost him any kind of return from the outing, as he dropped to the rear of the field.

Once at the front the Rebels pair pull well clear, and with Doyle on a full maximum Grajczonek slowed to let him through on the run to the line, but to the vast majority of those watching, it was Grajczonek who was first across the line. However the official result gave Doyle the win, and he posted a 6 race 18-point full maximum, as the Rebels completed the destruction of the Rye House Rockets, 59-31.

It was a great all round performance by the Rebels, especially as they were without two of their top four, a pairing that is normally worth a great deal of points. Having said that Nicolai Klindt proved a worthy guest for Davies, and rider replacement worked out well for Morris. Klindt along with Jason Doyle, Josh Grajczonek and Charles Wright all supplied double figure returns to the finally tally, and put the Rebels in a commanding position for the return leg a week on Sunday (6th October).

Jason Doyle was superb, with his full maximum earning him the ‘Rider of the Night’ award, presented and chosen by Andrew March, who along with Jordan Jones organised of the very successful Rebels Golf Day, which had taken place earlier in the day. As part of the Golf Day, which saw a good number of teams take part, including some riders, fans and sponsors, there was an auction of Speedway and Sporting memorabilia, which took place in the club house after the meeting. The auction raised over a £1000.00, which when added to the money raised from the rest of the Golf Day, put more than £3000.00 in the Air Fence fund.

Somerset Rebels - 59

1. Jason Doyle - 3, 3, 3, 3, 3, 3 = 18
2. Kyle Newman - 1, 2 *, 1, 2 * = 6+2
3. Nicolai Klindt (Guest) - 3, 1, 1, 3, 3 = 11
4. Nick Morris - Rider Replacement
5. Josh Grajczonek - 2, 3, 3, 2, 1, 2 * = 13+1
6. Charles Wright - 3, 1 *, 3, 2 *, 1 = 10+2
7. Oliver Greenwood (Guest) - 0, 1, 0 = 1

Rye House Rockets - 31

1. Olly Allen - 2, 2, 3, 2, 0 = 9
2. Tyson Nelson - Rider Replacement
3. Jason Bunyan - 2, 2, 2, 1, 1 = 8
4. Pontus Aspgren - 1 *, R, 0, 1, 2 = 3+1
5. Anders Mellgren - 3, R, 3, 0, 1 = 7
6. Kasper Lykke - 0, 2, 0, 1, 0, 0 = 3
7. Josh Bates (Guest) - 1 *, 0, 0, 0 = 1+1

SCB Referee: Margaret Vardy

Heat Details

Heat 01: Doyle, Allen, Newman, Lykke (4-2) (4-2) 57.78
Heat 02: Wright, Lykke, Bates, Greenwood (3-3) (7-5) 58.66
Heat 03: Klindt, Bunyan, Aspgren, Newman (3-3) (10-8) 57.97
Heat 04: Mellgren, Grajczonek, Wright, Lykke (3-3) (13-11) 57.78
Heat 05: Grajczonek Allen, Klindt, Bates (4-2) (17-13) 57.88
Heat 06: Doyle, Newman, Lykke, Mellgren (ret) (5-1) (22-14) 58.07
Heat 07: Grajczonek, Bunyan, Greenwood, Aspgren (ret) (4-2) (26-16) 58.22
Heat 08: Wright, Bunyan, Newman, Lykke (4-2) (30-18) 58.53
Heat 09: Doyle, Mellgren, Klindt, Bates (4-2) (34-20) 58.50
Heat 10: Doyle, Newman, Bunyan, Aspgren (5-1) (39-21) 58.57
Heat 11: Allen, Grajczonek, Aspgren, Greenwood (2-4) (41-25) 58.40
Heat 12: Klindt, Wright, Bunyan, Lykke (5-1) (46-26) 58.97
Heat 13: Doyle, Allen, Grajczonek, Mellgren (4-2) (50-28) 59.03
Heat 14: Klindt, Aspgren, Wright, Bates (4-2) (54-30) 58.81
Heat 15: Doyle, Grajczonek, Mellgren, Allen (5-1) (59-31) 59.21

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