SOMERSET REBELS 56
BERWICK BANDITS 34
Berwick went down to a 22-point defeat when they travelled to take on another of the title favourites, Somerset, at the Oak Tree Arena on Friday.
Matty Weathers missed the meeting after his heavy fall against Glasgow only two days earlier and the Bandits used rider replacement. Kevin Doolan, Theo Pijper and Thomas Jorgensen all won one race apiece for the visitors, but in general the Rebels were in the ascendency.
In the first half of the meeting Berwick managed to hold their own, restricting the home side to only one 5-1 heat advantage, which meant that after seven heats it was still pretty close at 23-19.
Berwick had one heat advantage of their own, in the re-run of heat 10, but over the closing stages Somerset upped their game and finished with a flourish of a 4-2 and three successive 5-1s.
Rohan Tungate raced to a paid 15 maximum for the Rebels, whilst Josh Gracjzonek, Paul Starke and James Wright all recorded three paid victories.
After the meeting Berwick manager Scott Courtney said: “We left empty handed, but we pushed Somerset a lot harder than some people expected, and it was only in the closing stages that the meeting slipped from our grasp.”
Somerset Rebels: Tungate 13+2 (paid max), Grajczonek 11, Wright 10+1, Starke 9+2, Wilson-Dean 6+1, Allen 6+1, Shuttleworth 1.
Berwick Bandits: Doolan 8+1, Jorgensen 8, Pijper 6, Gappmaier 6, Stachyra 4+2, Carr 2+2, Wethers – rider rep.
• Berwick face a busy weekend with three meetings in three nights. Tonight (Thursday) they ride at Redcar in the Premier League, before making the long journey south to Plymouth to take on the Devils on Friday. On Saturday it’s back to Shielfield for a KO Cup first leg clash against Rye House. The second leg will be at Hoddesdon at the end of the month.