Somerset Rebels v Edinburgh Monarchs

REPORT Wednesday 11th July 2007, 10:00pm

by Mike Hunter

As most people anticipated Monarchs were knocked out of the Cup, but they put in a reasonable performance against the Rebels.

As in the first leg, luck was not with us. Henrik Moller had ridden fairly well last year at the Oak tree Arena, but after a first bend collision in heat 4 he pulled on to the centre green.

He had a toe injury, and was ruled out of further involvement by the medical staff even though he wanted to carry on. His injury is not at all serious.

So we were robbed of points by that unsatisfactory occurrence, and our late attempt to regain ground by using Ronnie Correy as a TR in heat 12 also hit problems.

Ronnie was showing a willingness to use the outside line, and was flying round the air fence on the first corner when he lifted and came down. Any lingering hopes we may have had went down with him.

We started the match by losing our first leg advantage in 2 heats. Derek Sneddon actually made the start in heat 1 but was relegated to third before the end of the opening lap. On the wet heavy surface he then fell on the back straight on lap two. Theo was well back and had no difficulty avoiding the fallen rider.

The race was awarded. Heat 2 last the four laps, with Matthew hot on the heels of Walker and Warwick, very strong reserves for the Rebels. Aaron Summers rode his first race for us in this heat.

That was a bad start, but Ronnie showed that he can ride this type of track by blasting clear of Kramer in heat 3 for a fine win.

We had the Henrik incident in heat 4, and it wasn't until the end of the meeting that anyone outwith the pits realised what had happened. Matthew grabbed second ahead of Hawkins.

We shared the next two, with help in heat 6 from Stephan Katt's lost chain.

Heat 7 was the best race so far, a great effort by Simon Walker to pass Ronnie round the outside. The pair rode neck and neck for a couple of laps but Ronnie couldn't edge ahead.

Katt lost another chain in heat 8, and Matthew's hard work continued as he took second behind Kramer in heat 9. We were 7 down on aggregate now and pretty much out of the cup, but we hoped to continue to pick up reasonable points.

At this point Danny Warwick was unbeaten, but although he again gated well behind Zetterstrom in heat 10, Ronnie went round him on the first lap, and Andrew did very well to grab third narrowly on the final lap.

Theo led heat 11, but didn't cover the outside and was passed rather disappointingly by both Walker and Hawkins.

Ronnie was the obvious man to take the TR, but his effort ended on the second bend. Thankfully he walked away, and mysteriously we spotted Henrik helping to get the bike off, showing no ill effects whatsoever.

Matthew split the Rebels in the rerun, but that was that as far as the cup went.

Heat 13 was an obvious 1-5, but we did gain an advantage in heat 14.

Matthew won easily after a wide sweeping first bend, and Andrew held position in third with a good ride.

The two home Swedes took 5 from the final heat and that was that. The Rebels are strong at home and we had done reasonably well, with Matthew and Ronnie earning the most praise. Andrew's performance was lively though he didn't get many, and young Aaron displayed a nice style.