Rockets gain Somerset revenge

PUBLISHED: 12:30 26 August 2009 | UPDATED: 14:23 04 March 2010

Premier League

Somerset Rebels 35 Rye House Rockets 57

FOLLOWING Friday night's near miss at the Oak Tree Arena, the Silver Ski Rockets moved back to full force with a comfortable 57-35 win in the return match against Somerset Rebels.

Premier League

Somerset Rebels 35 Rye House Rockets 57

FOLLOWING Friday night's near miss at the Oak Tree Arena, the Silver Ski Rockets moved back to full force with a comfortable 57-35 win in the return match against Somerset Rebels.

The team fired on all cylinders in the process, with six of the side winning races and the seventh - Andrew Silver - paid for no less than four victories.

The comeback star finished the evening with a top-scoring paid 15, but still had to pass man-of-the-match honours to colleague Linus Sundstrom.

The Swede was originally set to miss the fixture due to his commitment to the European U19 Team Championship being raced on Sunday (August 23), but opted out of the practice session in order to make this fixture.

The Rebels must have wished he'd headed to Denmark early, as he romped to four impressive wins and was beaten only by Emil Kramer in heat 10.

If the night ended on a positive for Rye, it wasn't always that way, as a series of mishaps kept the score close in the early stages.

Robert Mear was excluded for bringing down Steve Johnston in the opening race, Chris Neath ground to a halt while a clear leader on the final lap of heat five and Tommy Allen's meeting ended prematurely with a fall in heat seven.

He was subsequently diagnosed with a possible broken little finger on his left hand, and although promoter Len Silver was optimistic as of time of writing that he will be fit for the Rockets' next fixture at Stoke on Saturday it is still the latest in a litany of injuries that have afflicted the Tommy Gun in 2009.

Allen's misfortune left the Rockets a rider short and nursing a slender 23-19 advantage at the end of heat seven.

They effectively had the match wrapped up just two races later, however, courtesy of 5-1s from the pairings of Sundstrom-Silver and Neath-Bowen.

Cory Gathercole was on the receiving end on both occasions - with Silver achieving revenge for an earlier close call against the Aussie in heat four - as the Rockets quickly jumped to a 33-21 margin.

With Joe Haines heading home Tactical Rider Steve Johnston in heat 11, the Rockets were totally home and dry, but still had time to celebrate further 5-1s from Luke Bowen and Silver in heat 12 and Neath and Silver two races later to ensure all three match points remained in Hoddesdon.

The Rebels must have known it could never be their night. Although Emil Kramer, Steve Johnston and the battling Cory Gathercole all gave strong performances, their efforts were outweighed by the injuries they were carrying further down their riding order.

Simon Walker was forced to miss the match with an aggravated wrist injury, while reserves Tom Brown and Nick Simmons were sidelined with a broken collarbone and back bruising, respectively, and their replacements were not unexpectedly outmatched.

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