Somerset Rebels v Edinburgh Monarchs

REPORT Wednesday 19th September 2007, 10:00pm

by Mike Hunter

There was no shortage of entertainment as the Scotwaste Monarchs went down by 22 points in their final away league match at Somerset.

The first two heats weren?t promising from our point of view, as we were well beaten 5-1 in both of them.

Kaj Laukkanen sorted that out with a fast gate and a good ride in heat 3, beating Kramer with a bit to spare.

Michael Coles made his best gate of the night in heat 4 and led into the third turn, but Hawkins got round him to go ahead. Matthew had fluffed his start but was soon past Warwick, who is somewhat inconsistent.

Stancl and Kramer came down the back straight together in heat 5 ? George pretty close to the fence ? but it was Kramer who edged ahead before the end of the first lap. George settled in with Derek for a shared heat.

The Rebels? opening pair is impressive and they were ahead again in heat 6, Zetterstrom inside and Walker blazing round the outside in his legtrail style.

Matthew was well back early on but made up yards to put the home men under pressure. The three of them went over the line together but we lost a 5-1.

We had Kaj on a TR in heat 7 and he led early on, but Hawkins slipped inside him on the pits bend. This is an unusual move on a track where most of the passing is outside.

Walker won again in heat 8 and there was a great battle between Warwick and Sneddon for second, the home man just hanging on. So we were 33-17 down but riding better than the score suggested.

There was another battle for second in heat 9, Matthew edging out Katt, and indeed at the end Kramer had only about a length to spare.

Walker was on a paid maximum but he lost it at the start in heat 10 as he lifted and burst through the tapes. Frampton came in and we lost a 4-2 with George in second spot. Derek fell on the first lap but remounted.

Laukkanen beat Kramer for the second time in heat 12, and Kalle took advantage of Warwick getting into difficulties to grab a point. In fact he wasn?t at all far behind Kramer.

There was some quite heavy drizzle by now, but George and Matthew made great starts in heat 13. Zetterstrom caught George on the first lap but by that time Matthew was fairly well clear, and the Swede didn?t look like catching him. So we had our second 4-2 in a row.

A maximum loss looked likely in heat 14 but Derek wasn?t giving up, riding hard and wide and eventually he went round Frampton for a good second.

Zetterstrom was back to winning ways as he beat Matthew in heat 15. Kaj had made a decent start but pulled up with bike problems on the opening lap.

The meeting had been cracked through double quick and it was just after 8:10 when the final race crossed the line.

Good though our match was, some of the heats involving Ricky Ashworth and Carl Wilkinson in the Somerset v Newcastle match were the best of the night.