Tuesday June 02, 2020
It was a Friday evening and seven days after the initial planned opening of the Oak Tree had been postponed, fans flocked to Highbridge to speedway racing for the first time at the TA9 postcode venue.

It had been in the February of the first year of the noughties when work had initially begun and within four months everything was ready to get racing under way. It was a Conference League cup fixture that was to be the opener but after Buxton's visit had been postponed the 'honour' of being the Rebels' first home opponents fell to the grace of St.Austell, near neighbours that three days earlier, had inflicted a 48-40 victory on the Somerset side.

Having ridden their away fixtures at St.Austell and Buxton away using the rider replacement facility for the injured Adrian Newman, it was encouraging that the Rebels had a full complement of riders to parade and witness the cutting of the ribbon. Steve Bishop, Jason Newitt, Adrian Newman, Glen Phillips, Andy Carfield, Simon Phillips and Mark Phillips became the famous seven who were kitted out to signal the birth of racing at the fabulous Oak Tree.

It was declared that a 'shade over 2000' supporters had turned out for this historic night and if they were all Rebels' fans then they would have gone home happy having seen the Rebels storm to a 55-35 (agg 95-83) victory over the Gulls and with Steve Bishop being the first ever rider to be unbeaten by an opponent at the OTA.

S.Bishop 3,3,3,3,2'=14+1
J.Newitt 0,0,2'=2+1
A.Newman 2',F,3,3=8+1
G.Phillips 3,2,2',3,3=13+1
A.Carfield 1,0,0=1
S.Phillips 3,2,0,2,1=8
M.Phillips 1,3,3,2',0=9+1

St.Austell 35
W.Barrett 2,3,3,0,3,2,1=14
R.Ford 1',1,2,2,1=7+1
M.Thompson 1,1,0=2
D.Andrews 0,R,R=0
Rider Replacement
M.Williams 2,FD,1',1,1=5+1
J.Prynne 0,2,1',1,1',2,0=7+2

Ht 1: S.Bishop, W.Barrett, R.Ford, J.Newitt 3-3 3-3 |60.08]
Ht 2: S.Phillips, M.Williams, M.Phillips, J.Prynne 4-2 7-5 [60.95]
Ht 3: G.Phillips, A.Newman, M.Thompson, D.Andrews 5-1 12-6 [60.17]
Ht 4: M.Phillips, J.Prynne, A.Carfield, M.Williams (Fell d/q) 4-2 16-8 [62.22]
Ht 5: W.Barrett, G.Phillips, R.Ford, A.Newman (Fell) 2-4 18-12 [61.53]
Ht 6: S.Bishop, R.Ford, M.Williams, J.Newitt 3-3 21-15 [60.37]
Ht 7: W.Barrett, S.Phillips, M.Thompson, A.Carfield 2-4 23-19 [62.36]
Ht 8: M.Phillips, R.Ford, J.Prynne, S.Phillips 3-3 26-22 [62.95]
Ht 9: A.Newman, G.Phillips, M.Williams, W.Barrett 5-1 31-23 [59.48]
Ht 10: S.Bishop, J.Newitt, J.Prynne, D.Andrews (Rtd) 5-1 36-24 [61.14]
Ht 11: W.Barrett, S.Phillips, R.Ford, A.Carfield 2-4 38-28 [62.39]
Ht 12: A.Newman, M.Phillips, M.Williams, M.Thompson 5-1 43-29 [60.82]
Ht 13: S.Bishop, W.Barrett, J.Prynne, M.Phillips 3-3 46-32 [61.31]
Ht 14: G.Phillips, J.Prynne, S.Phillips, D.Andrews (Rtd) 4-2 50-34 [60.96]
Ht 15: G.Phillips, S.Bishop, W.Barrett, J.Prynne 5-1 55-35 [60.47]
Referee Mr B Richardson

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