Wednesday, May 7, 2014
Somerset Rebels beaten at Workington
The ‘Cases’ Somerset Rebels, the defending Premier League Knock Out Cup holders, will need to over-come a 14 point 1st leg deficit if they are to progress through to the quarter-finals of this year’s competition, the Rebels finally succumbing to Workington 52-38 at Derwent Park, writes Ian Belcher.
Things did not start well for the Rebels when Nick Morris was excluded from the opening heat for a tapes infringement, Somerset team manager Garry May electing to start his number 1 off a 15 metre handicap in the re-run, but Workington took full advantage of the opportunity handed to them to record a maximum heat win to take an early 4 point lead.
To their credit Somerset knuckled down to the job in hand and made sure that the Comets did not run away with the match as the Rebels provided each of the next three heat winner, Todd Kurtz, Brady Kurtz and skipper Olly Allen doing ‘the honours’ to keep Somerset very much in the match.
Workington then ran in their second maximum race win of the match in heat 6 to stretch their lead out to six points, but again Somerset refused to yield and brought themselves back to within 4 of their hosts when ex-Comet Charles Wright and Todd Kurtz combined for a 4-2 in heat 8.
With heat 9 seeing a share of the spoils, heat 10 looked as if it might see the Rebels get back on equal terms when Brady Kurtz hit the front from the off, this after coming to grief after being left nowhere to go in what can only be described as a tight first bend, which saw the referee order a re-run for all 4 riders.
In that re-run, Kurtz moved into an early lead while team mate Pontus Aspgren moved past Workington’s Mason Campton into 2nd place at the end of the first lap, only for possible triumph turn into disaster as Kurtz seemed to be thrown wide on the 2nd bend, he ending up in an untidy heap on the Derwent Park track, a chain issue looking to be a possible contributory factor in his demise.
His fall seemed to distract Aspgren, and needing no second invitation, Workington’s Josh Grajczonek seized the opportunity to slip past and into the lead. With Kurtz still down on the track, referee Dave Dowling brought proceedings to a halt in the interest of rider safety, he awarding the race as a consequence and what had looked at one stage to be a 5-1 to Somerset had become a 4-2 to the Comets.
However, with 4 heats remaining Somerset still found themselves just 6 points adrift of the Comets, but with Workington running in 4-2 heat wins in each of those final 4 races, the Rebels found themselves looking at a 14-point first leg deficit, the final margin of defeat not at all reflecting the effort the team put in throughout the match as a whole.
And so the two teams will now reconvene of Friday (9th) at the Oaktree Arena for what has all the hallmarks of being an intriguing 2nd leg in order to determine who will face Ipswich in the quarter-final.
Speaking after the match Somerset team manager Garry May said: “After keeping it so close for so long, it was disappointing to come away with a 14 point deficit. The boys gave it their all but we just seemed to run out of steam over those final few heats, but at least we go into that second leg knowing what we need to do if we are to progress to the quarter-finals, and if the boys ride anything like they have in our previous two home meetings then anything is possible.”
Saturday 3rd May
WORKINGTON v SOMERSET
PREMIER LEAGUE KNOCK OUT CUP
1st Round, 1st Leg
J Grajczonek 3 3 2’ 3 3 3 - 17+1
M Campton 2’ 2 3 2 1 - - 10+1
K Howarth X R 1’ 3 3 - - 7+1
R Wells – rider replacement
S Robson [g] 2 3 2 3 1 1 - 12
C Mills 2 0 F 1 - - - 3
C Schramm [g] 1’ 1’ 0 1 - - - 3+2
Team Manager: Tony Jackson
N Morris 1 2 2 2 2 - - 9
C Wright R 1’ 3 1’ - - - 5+2
B Kurtz 3 2 X 0 - - - 5
P Aspgren 1 1’ 2 2 - - - 6+1
O Allen 3 1 3 0 X - - 7
T Kurtz 3 0 1 2 0 - - 6
P Starke 0 0 0 - - - - 0
Team Manager: Garry May
Referee: Dave Dowling
HEAT DETAILS SCORE
1: (re-run) Grajczonek, Campton, Morris (tapes 15m), Wright (ret) 63.0 (5-1)
2: T Kurtz, Mills, Schramm, Starke, 64.8 (8-4)
3: (re-run) B Kurtz, Campton, Aspgren, Howarth (f.exc), 64.1 (10-8)
4: Allen, Robson, Schramm, Starke, 63.6 (13-11)
5: Grajczonek, Morris, Wright, Howarth (ret), 63.1 (16-14)
6: Campton, Grajczonek, Allen, T Kurtz, 64.1 (21-15)
7: Robson, B Kurtz, Aspgren, Mills, 64.0 (24-18)
8: Wright, Campton, T Kurtz, Schramm, 64.8 (26-22)
9: Allen, Robson, Howarth, Starke, 63.9 (29-25)
10: (awarded) Grajczonek, Aspgren, Campton, B Kurtz (f.exc), no time (33-27)
11: Robson, Morris, Wright, Mills (f), 65.9 (36-30)
12: Howarth, T Kurtz, Schramm, B Kurtz, 65.4 (40-32)
13: Grajczonek, Morris, Robson, Allen, 64.9 (44-34)
14: Howarth, Aspgren, Mills, T Kurtz, 66.0 (48-36)
15: (re-run) Grajczonek, Morris, Robson, Allen (f.exc), 65.4 (52-38)