Wednesday June 13, 2018
SAM Masters reckons Wolverhampton got undone by inside knowledge in a keenly-contested 49-41 defeat at Somerset Rebels.

The Parrys International Wolves let slip a six-point lead to trail by 12 with five heats remaining and despite a determined fightback could not make up enough ground to pinch a consolation point.

Masters ended a mixed night on a high by claiming a dominant tapes-to-flag triumph to lead a 4-2 in heat 14, leaving the visitors within a heat advantage of a reward for their efforts.

Top scorer Jacob Thorssell pounced on an untidy start from world champion Jason Doyle in the decider but Rory Schlein got stuck at the back, his only scoreless ride in six outings.

“We all rode hard and started well but a lot came down to the gates in the end,” said Masters.

“It was not much fun on the outside, it was not doing much and you had to go out there for a few laps to build up some real speed. If you were at the back you were stuck in no-man’s land.

“Somerset is a hard track to read. They did that quicker than us, went to the outside and then knew when to go back in.

“That’s home-track advantage for you. Now we have to make sure we do the same to them when they come to our place.

“That away win hasn’t come for us yet but we will get one, that’s for sure.”


Ashley Morris, recently pushed up into the main body of the Wolves team, made the perfect start by leading a 5-1 with Thorssell in support and Doyle unable to lay a glove.

Wolves again hit the front from the off in heat two with Cameron Heeps, a former Somerset rider, holding a sensible line to comfortably win a 3-3.

Kyle Howarth then made the most of a strong gate and Sam Masters held off the challenge of Charles Wright at the back to extend to six points Wolverhampton’s lead.

The rival reserves hit the front from the off in heat four only for Rory Schlein to battle back with a chop up the inside on lap two but the swift Jack Holder denied Nathan Greaves a point on the back straight of the final lap.

A track grade seemed to aid the hosts with Wright and Richard Lawson grabbing a 5-1 from the tapes in the fifth before Schlein got the better of Doyle and stretched his lead throughout a shared sixth.

Heat seven looked to be heading the same way until the Rebels levelled matters when Jonas Jeppesen forced his way around the outside Howarth who was unhappy with the Dane's move as he hit the deck.

Jake Allen and Bradley Wilson-Dean stood firm from a tight start to put Somerset ahead for the first time and another home maximum followed as Lawson gated with Wright’s decision to attack the boards killing off Schlein’s tenacious pursuit.

Doyle went from first to third as Howarth took the outside run but having stayed there he got picked off with Wilson-Dean joining his colleague in another 5-1.

Schlein came in as tactical substitute in heat 11 with Wolves 12 in arrears but could not resist Holder’s pace from the outside while Jacob Thorssell stayed out in front.

Wright may have taken the 12th but Howarth and Heeps displayed strong team-riding credentials to keep Wolves within 10.

Doyle’s start to heat 13 was on the money but Thorssell and Schlein split the hosts.

Masters led a 4-2 from the gate in the 14th, meaning Wolves needed only a heat advantage to claw back a consolation point.

Thorssell made the most of an untidy start from Doyle but Schlein got stuck at the back and could not apply enough pressure to trouble Wright.

SOMERSET 49: Jason Doyle 10+1, Charles Wright 10+1, Richard Lawson 9+1, Jake Allen 7, Jack Holder 6+1, Bradley Wilson-Dean 5+3, Jonas Jeppesen 2+1.

WOLVERHAMPTON 41: Jacob Thorssell 11+1, Rory Schlein 9+1, Kyle Howarth 6, Sam Masters 6, Cameron Heeps 5+1, Ashley Morris 4, Nathan Greaves 0.

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