Devils struggle to contain Tigers in Bech's absence
PLYMOUTH Devils completed their away Premier League fixtures, but it was not third-time lucky for the visitors at Glasgow Tigers yesterday.
The city side went down 62-31 in Glasgow in what was their penultimate meeting of the 2013 season, after two earlier scheduled meetings had been called off by the weather at the end of July and again two weeks' ago.
Plymouth now have just Newcastle Diamonds to play this Friday at the St Boniface Arena in another re-arranged fixture that was rained off at the beginning of September.
Yesterday's was a predictable enough result as Plymouth were without their number one and Danish star Mikkel Bech but, realistically, it was a mauling in waiting for the visitors.
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True, guest Matthew Wethers did not let anyone down with his 13 points being the best the depleted Devils had to offer.
The Australian's total for Plymouth was only eclipsed by James Grieves, whose tally of 14+1 paid, was the best.
Plymouth did not win a race until heat 11 – with Wethers leading his temporary team-mates to a 6-3 victory.
And that was as good as it got for Plymouth with Tigers tightening their grip on the tie from heat one onwards.
The hosts won the opener 4-2, drew 3-3 in the second before storming to a 5-1 heat win in the third and sharing the fourth race 3-3.
A 4-2 victory in the fifth meant Devils were trailing 19-11 and their fortunes did not improve overly thereafter.
Heat six was 3-3 and races seven through to 10 inclusive gave Glasgow four 5-1 victories, bringing their total up to 42-18.
Then came the luxury of a heat win in the next race for the visitors and second and third earned a share of the points in heat 12.
It was back-to-back 5-1 wins in heats 13 and 14 before the carnage was completed with a 4-2 home success in 15.
Tigers: Theo Pijper 10+1 points (4 rides), Henning Bager 6+3 (4), Anders Thomsen 9+1 (4), James Grieves 14+1 (5), Dakota North 11 (4), Joe Jacobs 5+3 (4), Joey Ringwood 6 (4).
Devils: Matthew Wethers 13 (5), Todd Kurtz 0 (4), Connor Coles 0 (3), Michael Palm Toft 3 (4), Mark Lemon 6 (5), Simon Nielsen 4 (4), Jake Anderson 5+3 (5).
Meanwhile, the Devils' team manager Lee Trigger was a happy man after the Plymouth club's 48-42 win over an Exeter Select side in the Colin Hill Memorial Challenge Match at St Boniface Arena on Friday night.
While Cornwall-born Speedway Grand Prix star Chris Harris top-scored for Exeter with 11 points, it was the form of 'one-off Devils' Ben Barker and Steve Boxall that offered a potential glimpse of the top pairing for the St Boniface side next season.
Trigger said: "It was a great meeting with some top quality riders.
"It also gave us a chance to give young riders like David Abraham some track time, to find out what it's all about. And we won, which is always a good thing to happen."
Devils: Ben Barker 6+2 (4 rides), Steve Boxall 11+2 (5), Ricky Wells 9 (4), Michael Palm Toft 5+1 (4), Mark Lemon 11 (5), Jake Anderson 5+1 (4), David Abraham 1+1 (4)
Exeter: Chris Harris 11+1 (5), Danny Maassen 3 (4), Ryan Fisher 8 (5), Sam Chapman 1 (3), Kevin Doolan 7 (4), Simon Nielsen 9 (5), Connor Coles 3+2 (4).
SOMERSET REBELS took a huge step towards Premier League Knock-out Cup glory, as they defeated Rye House Rockets 59-31 in the first leg of the final at Highbridge's Oaktree Arena on Friday night.
Despite being without two of their top four in Nick Morris and Alex Davies, who were riding for Australia in the Under-21 World Team Cup final as well as reserve Lewis Rose, guest Nicolai Klindt, Jason Doyle, Josh Grajczonek and Charles Wright all supplied double figure returns.
Captain and number one Doyle capped a fantastic night for the team and himself by winning the last heat if the night to complete an 18-point six-ride maximum to put the Rebels in a great position for the return leg at Hoddesdon on Sunday, October 6.
On Thursday evening, Somerset visit Redcar Bears in the Premier League play-offs.
Rebels: Jason Doyle 18points (6 rides), Kyle Newman 6+2 (4), Nicolai Klindt 11 (5), rider replacement (Nick Morris), Josh Grajczonek 13+1 (6), Charles Wright 10+2 (5), Oliver Greenwood 1 (3).
Rockets: Olly Allen 9 (5), rider replacement (Tyson Nelson), Jason Bunyan 8(5), Pontus Aspgren 3+1 (5), Anders Mellgren 7 (5), Kasper Lykke 3 (6), Josh Bates 1+1 (4).