Sheffield Tigers 39, Somerset Rebels 51
THE Somerset Rebels took second place in the Premier League with an emphatic 12-point win at Sheffield, though the meeting was marred by a crash involving Sheffield’s Andre Compton in the penultimate heat which saw him hospitalised.
Sheffield took the early lead and were six points up after just three heats, but a 5-1 by Somerset skipper Olly Allen and Paul Starke in heat four brought the Rebels back into things, and two heats later the scores were level at 18-18.
The tide turned Somerset’s way in heat 10 when Brady Kurtz and Pontus Aspgren combined for their second maximum heat win of the night, and a 4-2 two races later increased Somerset’s advantage to six points with just three heats remaining.
Disaster struck the Rebels in heat 13 when Allen, unbeaten in his three races, suffered a bad fall as the riders exited the second bend, and though he was able to walk back to the pits he will now miss tomorrow night’s (Friday) return match against Sheffield at the Oaktree Arena.
Still six points to the good, heat 14 looked as if Sheffield would cut the lead back to four with Compton and Taylor Poole on a 4-2 for the home side, but just as Compton was exiting the final bend his bike suffered a mechanical failure, throwing him violently to the ground.
After lengthy on-track treatment he was taken to hospital and the final heat was completed, a 5-1 courtesy of Kurtz and Nick Morris, confirming Somerset’s win and the maximum four points.