Comets 46 Somerset 45 - Match Report
Photo by Dave PayneSun 09 Aug 2015
Workington Comets 46 Somerset Rebels 45 (Premier League) - Saturday 8th August
The Comets maintained their record as the only side to have won all of their home Premier League fixtures with a well-deserved 'backs-to-the-wall' victory over the strongly-fancied Somerset Rebels at Derwent Park last night, which wasn't decided until the final heat when a crash led to the race being awarded, which gave victory to the Comets.
Amazingly, this was the third time in four seasons that the Comets have won this home league fixture by just a single point - having emerged victorious by a 45-44 scoreline in 2012 and in 2013.
Those two matches were night's of controversy and drama and last night proved to be just the same!
The Comets went into the match with Rider Replacement for Rusty Harrison, who is still plagued by the shoulder injury he picked up in his big crash in late April while Matt Williamson and Matthew Wethers were still carrying the effects of falls at Workington last Saturday and Edinburgh the previous evening respectively.
But, the Comets resources were stretched even thinner when they lost the services of Kyle Howarth following a coming together with his good friend and former Comets team-mate Josh Grajczonek in heat 4 (picture above shows the first turn of heat 4).
The accident happened on the back straight of the second lap as they were fighting for second place behind race-leader Matthew Wethers, with Kyle coming to grief as he and Josh got tangled together with Kyle hard up against the fence.
After receiving teatment on the track Kyle was taken to hospital for observation and further examination with mild concussion, having wrecked his crash helmet in the fall.
However, the Comets took maximum points from the re-run through Matthew Wethers and Matt Williamson to take the lead for the first time in the match.
With Kenneth Hansen shaking off Brady Kurtz on the opening lap of heat 5 and Rene coming home in third place the Comets extended their lead to six points before Josh Grajczonek defeated Kenneth and Ricky Wells in a shared heat 6.
A comfortable 5-1 for the Rebels in heat 7 courtesy of another former Comet, Charles Wright, saw the visitors cut the Comets lead to just two points before Rene Bach teamed up with Matthew Wethers in heat 8 and Kenneth Hansen in heat 9 for two successive 5-1's to put the Comets 32-22 in front.
Rebels team manager Garry May then opted to give a tactical ride to Charles Wright in heat 10 but it was Ricky Wells that made the start from gate 3 to lead from Richie Worrall and Wright. But, after passing and re-passing on lap two Ricky regained the lead until his bike began to slow on lap three and this allowed Worrall to regain the lead at the start of the last lap as Ricky tried to keep his machine going and hold on to second place from the 'black and white wearing' Wright - which he just managed to do.
The 5-2 heat advantage meant that the Rebels had only gained a single point from their tactical ride while the Comets lead was cut from ten to seven points.
However, a comfortable rebels 5-1 in heat 11 for Leigh Lanham and Brady Kurtz over the Comets two reserves reduced the Comets advantage to just three points with four races remaining as occasional drops of rain began to fall.
With Richie Worrall winning a shared heat 12 ahead of Rene and Matthew Wethers it was crucial that the Comets at least shared heat 13, which they did as Ricky Wells shot from the inside gate to lead Brady Kurtz and Josh Grajczonek from tape to flag.
With rain starting to fall once again Paul Starke lifted the Rebels with an all the way victory in heat 14 as Kenneth battled through from the back but was unable to catch the Rebels reserve on an increasingly greasy track surface; which left the Comets with a slender one-point lead (43-42) going into the last heat decider!
The Comets had the pick of gates and chose gates 1 and 3, with Rene going off gate 1 and Ricky off gate 3, while the Rebels opted to put Brady Kurtz on gate 2 and Richie Worrall on the outside.
When the tapes rose it was Worrall that took the lead with Rene in second place and Ricky in third before Kurtz passed Ricky to put the Rebels into a match-winning heat advantage situation.
However, at the start of lap three, Kurtz tried to dive up the inside of Rene through a gap that quite simply wasn't there, bringing down Rene and Richie Worrall as well as himself!
This left referee Dave Watters with no option other than to exclude Kurtz and award the race 3-3, thus giving the much depleted Comets a very well-deserved victory.
WORKINGTON 46 SOMERSET 45 (Premier League)
Match points: Workington 3 Somerset 1
WORKINGTON 'Thomas Armstrong' COMETS 46
Ricky Wells 9+2, Rider replacement for Rusty Harrison, Rene Bach 14, Kenneth Hansen 10+1, Kyle Howarth (Withdrawn) 0, Matt Williamson 2+1, Matthew Wethers 11+2.
SOMERSET 'Cases' REBELS 45
Brady Kurtz 9+1, Leigh Lanham 5, Richie Worrall 13+1, Charles Wright 6, Josh Grajczonek 5+1, Paul Starke 6, Ollie Greenwood 1+1.
Referee: Dave Watters
1: Kurtz, Wells, Lanham, Wethers, 63.5 (2-4)
2: Wethers, Starke, Greenwood, Williamson, 65.1 (5-7)
3: Bach, Worrall, Hansen, Wright, 64.5 (9-9)
4: (re-run) Wethers, Williamson, Starke, Howarth (ns-inj), Grajczonek (f.exc), 65.3 (14-10)
5: Hansen, Kurtz, Bach, Lanham, 64.0 (18-12)
6: Grajczonek, Hansen, Wells, Greenwood, 65.0 (21-15)
7: Wright, Worrall, Wethers, Williamson, 66.1 (22-20)
8: Bach, Wethers, Lanham, Starke, 66.2 (27-21)
9: Bach, Hansen, Grajczonek, Greenwood, 65.7 (32-22)
10: Worrall, Wells, Wright^, Williamson, 65.8 (34-27)
11: Lanham, Kurtz, Wethers, Williamson, 66.4 (35-32)
12: Worrall, Bach, Wethers, Starke, 66.5 (38-35)
13: Wells, Kurtz, Grajczonek, Williamson, 66.9 (41-38)
14: Starke, Hansen, Wright, Williamson, 67.2 (43-42)
15: (awarded) Worrall, Bach, Wells, Kurtz (f.exc), no time (46-45)
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Last Updated : Sun 09 Aug 2015, 13:05 UK