POOLE 44 REBELS 45

Wednesday July 26, 2017
The ‘Cases’ Somerset Rebels secured their second away win of the season with a sensational 1-point victory at Poole, with the match ebbing and flowing, it eventually going down to a last-heat decider

Although Poole held an early 4-point lead after the opening 3 heats, Somerset brought themselves back on equal terms when skipper Josh Grajczonek and Lewis Kerr combined for a maximum 5-1 race advantage in heat 4, while heat 5 saw Somerset take the lead for the first time in the match courtesy of a 4-2 race advantage by Richard Lawson, who topped scored for the Rebels with 13 points, and Cameron Heeps, that two-point lead being maintain with the next two races both seeing a share of the spoils.
 
Poole restored parity with a 4-2 race win of their own, and thing began to look a bit bleak for Somerset as the next two heats saw the Pirates open up a 6-point lead with the final third of the match remaining.
 
But, to their credit, the Rebels refused to buckle, and came back at Poole once racing resumed after the interval, with Richard Lawson taking his second win of the night and Lewis Kerr picking up the point for 3rd place.
 
The turning point of the match came in heat 12, the first running of which saw Poole’s Jack Holder excluded for bringing down Somerset’s Jake Allen, the re-run faring no better for the Pirates as their lone representative, Paul Starke, was also excluded for causing Charles Wright to fall, leaving the Somerset duo to ride not only an unopposed 5-0 race win, but also back into the lead, albeit by just a narrow 1-point margin.
 
Heat 13 provided Somerset with a bit more breathing space, Richard Lawson making it three wins on the bounce for the Cumbrian while Josh Grajczonek crucially took 3rd place ahead of Poole’s Timo Lahti.
 
Up until this point in the match it had been a less than enjoyable return to the Somerset team for Patrick Hougaard, the Dane restored back into the line-up after being side-lined since the beginning of June with a shoulder injury, he having nothing to show points-wise after his first three rides.
 
That was, however, to change in the penultimate race of the match as Hougaard split the Poole duo of Paul Starke and Edward Kennett to finish in second place, and although the 4-2 race win saw the Pirates close back into a point of the Rebels, it was Somerset who held the advantage going into the last heat.
 
The final heat of the night saw Richard Lawson and Josh Grajczonek come to the tapes for the Rebels, knowing that anything other than a Poole race advantage would see Somerset depart Wimborne Road with a famous win under their belts.
 
Things did not, however, initially look promising for the Rebels as the Poole duo of Richie Worrall and Hans Andersen hit the front from the off, but first Lawson rounded Andersen to move into second place, with Grajczonek repeating the feat on Andersen a lap later to ensure not only a share of the race spoils, but that the overall victory, and 3 crucial league points, would be going the way of the Rebels, to the obvious delight of Somerset team manager Garry May;
 
“What can I say, the boys were just superb tonight,” he said, “even when Poole opened up that lead mid-match, they didn’t let their heads drop and came back at Poole, and I think that we were more than deserving of our win.”
 
“Heat 15 summed up the determination we showed throughout the night, as even though Poole gated on a potentially match-winning 5-1, Richard [Lawson] and Josh [Grajczonek] didn’t panic as they both got around Andersen to give us victory.”
 
“I would like to thank all the Somerset fans who made the trip down to Poole to support the lads, it was very much appreciated by myself as well as the boys in the team.”
 
POOLE 44: Richie Worrall 12+2, Paul Starke 8+1, Hans Andersen 8, Edward Kennett 7, Jack Holder 4, James Shanes 3+1, Timo Lahti 2.

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