Tuesday June 23, 2020
It was a year ago today that the Garry May got his hands on his 11th piece of silverware as he saw his solid top four of his SGB Championship side smash and grab their way to winning the Fours at Peterborough.

Chris Harris, Rory Schlein, Nico Covatti and Todd Kurtz with just three race wins between them but crucially only one no score in their combined eight semi-final rides did just enough to secure their place in the final four, joining Eastbourne, Glasgow and Sheffield - all of whom had scored 15 points - with 14 points.

With the scores set back to zero for the final, the Rebels remained on that new score after the first heat as Todd Kurtz trailed home fourth. But a win from Rory Schlein (his first of the day) with Sheffield's Ty Proctor in second place, Eastbourne's Edward Kennett third and Glasgow's Claus Vissing last saw all teams level on three-a-piece after heat two of the final. It proved to be the Scottish side who broke the deadlock as Craig Cook came back at Harris in heat three, although the Rebels a race later were outright leaders courtesy of Covatti's victory with the right Tiger (Sheffield's Kyle Howarth) in second place and former Rebel Paul Starke, flying the Scottish Tiger's flag, in third - 8-7-6-3 the aggregate score.

Although Sheffield levelled again in heat five, the Rebels inched a point clear with another win from Harris as Glasgow stuttered on 7 points. A clever move from Danny King denied Covatti victory in heat seven, producing a heat result that again left Somerset and Sheffield locked as leaders with 14 points now to their names. Heat eight shook things up as Glasgow (Cook) and Eastbourne (Edward Kennett) dominated proceedings and with Howarth beating Kurtz it left Sheffield ahead overall by a single point and Glasgow back in contention once more.

That threat grew greater when Starke won heat nine but Harris's second place with Proctor frozen out restored the Rebels advantage, 16 points to Sheffield's 15, Glasgow's 14 and Eastbourne's 9 with just three heats remaining.

The first of those saw Kurtz grab a valuable point in a King won heat and that was followed by a vital victory from Covatti, and quite possibly, just as important, Rasmus Jensen finding a way by Howarth to send the Rebels into the final heat leading 20-19-16-11. So provided Schlein could finish clear of the Sheffield rider, who proved to be Drew Kemp drafted into replace Broc Nicol, then the trophy was Oaktree bound.

Rory did what was required of him, inspite of Cook taking the win for Glasgow. Schlein's second place was good enough although as Kemp failed to score it meant the Rebels camp would have to wait a little longer before they could get their hands on the trophy as the two Tiger clubs had to endure a battle royale for second and third placings, eventually Sheffield's King prevailing.

Once, however, the Rebels were able to lift the trophy, Garry May admitted "We were certainly planning for this title. Obviously we want to win all the competitions we entered but throughout all the pre-season team building permutations I went through I was conscious of the need to have a quartet capable of winning this event. Fair enough, it wasn't easy and had to scrape through from the semi-finals but we had great team spirit all afternoon and were continually developing the strategy collectively. I am really pleased for all the lads involved, including Vally (Valentin Grobauer) who despite not getting a ride was working hard in the pits."

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