Somerset Rebels 58, Rye House Rockets 37
FRESH from their 40-point home win over Rye House the previous night, the Somerset Rebels travelled to Hoddesdon on Saturday evening for the return fixture against the Rockets - and produced a stunning 58-37 win which moved the Rebels up into 3rd place in the Premier League table.
With Stuart Robson deputising for Nick Morris, who was away representing Australia in the semi-final of the Under-21 World Cup, the Rebels took the lead from the off as Robson headed home favourite Edward Kennett, and with Charles Wright picking up the point for third place, it saw Somerset draw ‘first blood’ as they took an early two-point lead.
Having established a foothold in the match, Somerset then started to ‘turn the screw’ and a maximum 5-1 race win in heat 4 courtesy of Olly Allen and Paul Starke, coupled with a 4-2 in heat five, put the Rebels 10 points to the good.
The move was a partial success with Kennett duly taking the six points for the win with race-partner Luke Bowen picking up an additional point for third place, but any hopes the home Rye House faces might have harboured that this might signal a fight-back by the Rockets were soon dashed as Wright and Starke combined for a maximum race win in heat 8 to take Somerset back out into a nine-point lead.
By now Somerset were in total control and piled the misery upon the Rockets as they hit the home side with three 5-1 race wins over the course of four heats, making sure of the meeting victory as early as the conclusion of heat 12, with all four match points being guaranteed.
Starke wrapped up his paid maximum in the penultimate heat and the jubilant Rebels celebrated a famous victory - Rye House’s heaviest home defeat in some 23 years, much to the delight of team manager Garry May.
He said: "This was just truly an awesome performance, the boys really set about Rye House and right from the off there was only ever one team in it.
“Everyone played their part but I am especially pleased for Starkey getting his maximum, he has improved tremendously since the start of the season, but in saying that, this was an all-round team performance and one that the boys can be justifiably proud of."