THE Somerset Rebels have secured their first silverware of the season as they won the Premier Shield with a 107-79 aggregate victory over Newcastle.
The Rebels followed up Friday’s (April 4) first leg 59-34 win with a 48-45 victory in the second leg at the Newcastle Stadium.
The Rebels survived an early scare when Olly Allen was taken ill on arrival at the stadium and was forced to withdraw.
The victory pleased team manager Garry May, who said: “When Olly had to withdraw I thought we’d just have to concentrate on the aggregate win rather than my original plan of taking the match victory to go with our home win on Friday, but the rest of the boys really wanted to win and rode their socks off to achieve that.
“It would be wrong to single any rider out for special praise as this was a team performance – they all rode for each other and fully deserved the win.”
Despite the last-minute drama, the Rebels quickly established a six-point lead after just four heats.
Even better was to follow when a further 5-1 race win to the Rebels in heat six, their third of the night, took them into a ten-point lead.
Two Newcastle 5-1 race wins saw the Diamonds take a slender one-point lead in the match, but the overall tie was in possession of the Rebels.
With the final five heats of the tie now a virtual formality, a share of the spoils ensuing in the final two saw Somerset run out 48-45 winners on the night to take the Premier Shield 107-79 on aggregate.
n SOMERSET Rebels were unable to build on an impressive performance at Peterborough as they went down 53-41 at Ipswich.
The Rebels were very much second best and paid the price in a match which saw precious little overtaking throughout the entire 15 heats.