WOLVES 41 SOMERSET 49

Monday July 09, 2018
WOLVERHAMPTON’s luck at home finally ran out as they went down 41-49 to Somerset in their first league defeat of the season at Monmore Green.

The Parrys International Wolves had been far from convincing in their last two narrow home wins over Leicester and Poole, but the strength in depth of Somerset, who also included World Champion Jason Doyle, proved too much for the Monmore men.

The fixture was full of drama and controversy in the early exchanges and Wolves were never able to recover from a slow start which saw No.1 Jacob Thorssell and reserve Nathan Greaves crash out of the opening two races as they fell four behind.

Sam Masters eventually got the better of Aussie compatriot Aaron Summers in the re-run of heat three after exchanging places on more than one occasion before the visitors opened up a six-point lead in the fourth after Covatti and Jack Holder out-trapped home skipper Rory Schlein and Greaves.

It’s rare Wolves find themselves behind so early on and that prompted team manager Peter Adams to roll his dice at the very first opportunity. He brought in Schlein as a tactical substitute and it looked to have worked perfectly as he and Masters got the better of Doyle on the opening bends and pulled away on a 5-1. But Wilson-Dean, who had slid off on his own, wasn’t feeling very sporting and decided to stay on the deck to force another re-run with no punishment for the visitors.

And as so many felt would happen in typical speedway fashion, Doyle re-focussed and came back out to comfortably win a second straight outing.

The Rebels sat on a 5-1 in the seventh and looked set to extend their lead to 12, but on the final lap, debutant Summers suffered an engine failure allowing everyone through before Schlein roared under Lawson into bend three to help the hosts claim a 4-2 and reduced the deficit to just six points in a massive swing.

But the hosts’ relief was short lived as they conceded a 5-1 from the tapes in the next though and that ten point gap remained until Heat 11.

A glimmer of hope was offered when Masters and Greaves linked up for a maximum in the next with the scores back to 33-39 but Somerset responded instantly with another 5-1 of their own which sent them on their way to securing all four league points available as they flew to the top of the Premiership.

Wolves boss Adams admits they were beaten by the better side and hinted that team changes are being considered.

He said: “The meeting got off to the worst possible start for us really with Jacob wrecking a bike in the first race and Nathan doing exactly the same in the very next heat.

“That put us on the back foot right from the off and we were never able to claw them back in.

“Fair play to Somerset though they were a very determined outfit and thoroughly deserved their victory.

“The changes they’ve made recently have been very astute and they look very solid; we’re waiting to see what happens with one or two things but we’re certainly not sitting on our hands doing nothing trust me.”

Wolves’ trip to Poole this Wednesday has been postponed and will aim to get back to winning ways when Swindon visit Monmore Green next Monday (July 16, 7.30) in a repeat of last year’s Grand Final.

WOLVERHAMPTON 41: Sam Masters 12+1, Jacob Thorssell 9, Rory Schlein 8+1, Ashley Morris 5, Nathan Greaves 4+1, Mark Riss 3, Kyle Howarth R/R.

SOMERSET 49: Jason Doyle 13, Jack Holder 10+2, Richard Lawson 7, Nico Covatti 6+1, Jake Allen 6, Bradley Wilson-Dean 5+1, Aaron Summers 2.

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