Saturday August 24, 2019
The 'Cases' Somerset Rebels couldn't dent the Lions' pride as league leaders Leicester achieved their target of a 100% home league record and extended their advantage at the top of the table to a double figure margin.

Whilst the home side were good value for their win, the Rebels will reflect on a crucial heat five decision that saw Nick Morris harshly disqualified in a first bend battle where he was left no room amongst his three compatriots, Ty Proctor, Ryan Douglas and tactical substitute Rory Schlein.

The popular view was an all-four back re-run but debutant referee Simon Humphrey-Kennett called it differently, deciding that Morris fell on his own accord, leaving Schlein to commendably fight a lone-battle in the re-start.

The sublime Schlein, deputising as captain for Chris Harris who was enduring a miserable night in the GP Challenge in Gorican, Croatia, found himself again without a partner five heats later when Nico Covatti, with whom he had collected the Rebels' first heat advantage in heat seven, locked up as the riders shaped up to enter the back-straight with Lions' Ellis Perks unable to avoid the Rebels number four and both went down heavily. Schlein's response again was superb as he blasted from the tapes and took his third win from four outings, but by this stage the Rebels were trailing by 16 points.

Just how crucial that heat five call was became evident when Morris stormed to a sub-62 second heat win in the eleventh heat. For a lap and a half in that heat Morris' partner Anders Rowe had the audacity to lead Lions' skipper Scott Nicholls, the 17 year-old Rowe then holding on comfortably for a point to knock two points off the deficit.

Schlein's fourth win was a formality in heat 12 and there was still a mathematical chance of a Rebels point on the night, if they could reduce the margin by a further eight points across the final three heats. But when Nicholls and Lions' guest Kyle Howarth outgated Morris and Rebels' guest Steve Worrall in heat 13 it meant a point-less evening for the Rebels, but even so the fighting spirit instilled by team boss Garry May meant they refused to give up.

Covatti and Nathan Stoneman delivered a 4-2 advantage in the penultimate heat and then Morris and Schlein partnered up again in heat 15. This time, Schlein had to work hard to win the exchanges with Douglas but he did so with style as Somerset closed out with their only 5-1 of the evening.

Team boss Garry May reflected "It could well have been a different picture had we been able to see both our riders compete in that fifth heat. An advantage from that one would have changed the whole shape of the meeting but the person that makes the decision saw it different to most. But what a performance from Rory again tonight! The guy wants it so much for Somerset. His attitude is great and he really wants the success. He was caught out by Proctor in his first ride tonight but he was simply awesome in his other five. You just can't help wondering that maybe, with a partner in five and ten we would have taken a point tonight. But it wasn't to be and now we just move on to Wednesday and look to complete our home league matches with a win over Edinburgh."

Kyle Howarth,3,2',2,2'=9+2 (4)
Ellis Perks,1,3,3,1'=8+1 (4)
Ty Proctor,3,1',1,2,0=7+1 (5)
Ryan Douglas,1,2,3,2,1=9 (5)
Scott Nicholls,2,2,2,3=9 (4)
Joe Lawlor,2',0,0,0=2+1 (4)
Connor Mountain,3,1',2',1'=7+3 (4)

Nick Morris,2,FD,3,1,3=9 (5)
Anders Rowe,0,TS,1,1=2 (3)
Rory Schlein,2,3,3,3,3,2'=16+1 (6)
Nico Covatti,0,1,FD,3=4 (4)
Steve Worrall,3,1,2,0=6 (4)
Luke Harris,1,0,0,0=1 (4)
Nathan Stoneman,0,0,0,1=1 (4)

Ht 1: Kyle Howarth, Nick Morris, Ellis Perks, Anders Rowe 4-2 4-2 [62.68]
Ht 2: Connor Mountain, Joe Lawlor, Luke Harris, Nathan Stoneman 5-1 9-3 [63.01]
Ht 3: Ty Proctor, Rory Schlein, Ryan Douglas, Nico Covatti 4-2 13-5 [62.3]
Ht 4: Steve Worrall, Scott Nicholls, Connor Mountain, Nathan Stoneman 3-3 16-8 [62]
Ht 5: Rory Schlein, Ryan Douglas, Ty Proctor, Nick Morris [fell exc] 3-3 19-11 [62.12]
Ht 6: Ellis Perks, Kyle Howarth, Steve Worrall, Luke Harris 5-1 24-12 [62.84]
Ht 7: Rory Schlein, Scott Nicholls, Nico Covatti, Joe Lawlor 2-4 26-16 [62.07]
Ht 8: Ellis Perks, Connor Mountain, Anders Rowe, Nathan Stoneman 5-1 31-17 [62.64]
Ht 9: Ryan Douglas, Steve Worrall, Ty Proctor, Luke Harris 4-2 35-19 [62.59]
Ht 10: Rory Schlein, Kyle Howarth, Ellis Perks, Nico Covatti [fell exc] 3-3 38-22 [62.24]
Ht 11: Nick Morris, Scott Nicholls, Anders Rowe, Joe Lawlor 2-4 40-26 [61.71]
Ht 12: Rory Schlein, Ty Proctor, Connor Mountain, Luke Harris 3-3 43-29 [62.97]
Ht 13: Scott Nicholls, Kyle Howarth, Nick Morris, Steve Worrall 5-1 48-30 [63.1]
Ht 14: Nico Covatti, Ryan Douglas, Nathan Stoneman, Joe Lawlor 2-4 50-34 [63.97]
Ht 15: Nick Morris, Rory Schlein, Ryan Douglas, Ty Proctor 1-5 51-39 [63.3]

REFEREE Mr Simon Humphrey-Kennett

GATES SOMERSET won toss and chose gates 1&3 | LEICESTER choses gates 1&3 in heat 15


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