Somerset REBELS recorded their second Premier League home win over Edinburgh Monarchs in the space of two weeks at the Oak Tree Arena last night despite losing two of their riders in a nasty early race pile-up.
The Rebels triumphed 48-41 but were rocked at the loss of Corey Gathercole and Dakota North in the third heat.
Gathercole was leading when he hit the fence and bounced back on to the track and North was unable to avoid hitting him, and this ruled both men out of the meeting.
Gathercole has a leg injury and North sustained a shoulder knock.
But the Rebels didn’t wilt at this setback and were spurred on by towering performances from their reserves Alex Davies and Kyle Newman, who was guesting for James Holder.
The pair grabbed 27 points between them, which proved to be a body blow to any hopes Monarchs had of winning the meeting.
Monarchs were using rider replacement for the absent Kalle Katajisto, who hurt his back at Redcar last week and was resting as a precaution. Skipper Matthew Wethers made his comeback from injury and did well, scoring nine points, which included three race wins.
Unfortunately, Wethers slid off in heat eight when Monarchs were on a 4-2, and he was also beaten on the line for third place in the last race. Otherwise, Monarchs would probably have snatched a match point. Wethers who ironically injured his leg in that first match, wasn’t entirely happy with the state of the track and told the centre green presenter: “I like coming to Somerset but the track is the worst I’ve seen it.” Even the home fans applauded his comment.
Monarchs ace performer was Kevin Wolbert, who picked up 13 points and took the chequered flag on three occasions, and the German seems to be flying away from home right now after also top scoring at Redcar.
And Craig Cook deserves a mention for his seven-point contribution. The Cumbrian’s last couple of away meetings haven’t been all that notable but he defeated Sam Masters twice, and might have reached double figures had he not burst the tapes in his first ride.
Monarchs director Mike Hunter commented: “Although Somerset lost two riders, we were not poor, but Somerset’s two reserves were sensational and more than covered the loss of Gathercole and North.”
Somerset: Davies 14, Newman 13, Wright 12, Masters 7, North 1 Bates 1,, Gathercole 0.
Monarchs: Wolbert 13, Wethers 9, Cook 7, Howarth 6, Tully 5, Perry 1.