The CFS Filtration Swindon Robins remain unbeaten at The Abbey Stadium after a crushing 58-32 win against the Somerset Rebels, who contained several ex-Robins and were led by former Robins skipper and World Champion, Jason Doyle, writes Nick Taylor.
Man-of-the-match Nick Morris grabbed the headlines with an unbeaten 11+1, supported strongly by his fellow teammates although young reserve Jack Smith failed to score from his three rides.
Previously, the two sides had met at The Oaktree Arena back on Wednesday, May 16th when the home side defeated the Robins 50-40.
Morris stormed away from the tapes in heat one, closely supported by Adam Ellis, to record an impressive opening 5-1 for the reigning Premiership Champions, with Doyle uncharacteristically struggling back in third and Jake Allen well off the pace trailing in last. Morris’s winning time was a stunning 64.4 seconds.
Robins’ young British reserve Zach Wajtknecht took the chequered flag in heat two, hotly pursued by former Robin Bradley Wilson-Dean, with Swindon reserve Smith struggling at the back.
David Bellego and Troy Batchelor rode smoothly in tandem to fend off another former Robin, Charles Wright, to seal a second 5-1 in favour of Swindon for a 13-5 lead after three heats.
Somerset bagged their first win of the night in heat four when a determined Wilson-Dean was able to keep Tobiasz Musielak at bay, with Smith again well off the pace at the rear.
Current World Champion Doyle turned the clock back to last season when he outpowered Batchelor and Bellego at the start of heat five to record the Rebels’ second win of the evening.
Ellis then blasted his way to his first win of the night in heat six, though Morris almost threw away his second place, oversteering on bend two of the final lap before recovering well to prevent Richard Lawson pinching his two points.
Musielak took the honours in heat seven, Wajtknecht recovering well from a poor start to capitalise on a mistake on lap three by Wright to make it a 4-2 for the home side, taking the overall score to 27-15 in favour of Alun Rossiter’s side.
After a track regrading, Rossiter replaced reserve Smith with Wajtknecht and the tactical change paid off with another 5-1 racked up, Ellis again in lightning form, supported in second by Wajtknecht, the scores now standing at 32-16 in the Robins favour.
The dynamic duo of Batchelor and Bellego banged in another convincing 5-1 in heat nine, with Aussie hot-shot Batchelor claiming his first race win of the night. Rebels reserve Wilson-Dean crashed out on lap three but managed to get back to his feet to trail in last.
Morris was back to his best in heat 10, exploding out of the blocks to win from the start whilst Jack Holder, younger brother of Grand Prix star Chris Holder, held onto second whilst Ellis secured third from a spirited effort by Wright.
Doyle’s disappointing night continued when he mysteriously failed to depart from the start line in heat eleven, allowing another 5-1 to Swindon with Musielak this time the winner, followed home by Wajtknecht.
With a massive 26-point lead for the Robins going into heat 12, Doyle replaced Jeppesen to restore some self-pride for the visitors’ number one with a convincing win from Batchelor in second and Wright in third.
Heat 13 was deemed an unsatisfactory start by the match referee, with Doyle given a warning for movement on the line. The re-start allowed Morris to out-manoeuvre his former teammate to the first bend and remain unbeaten on the night, with Musielak claiming third.
Heat 14 saw Swindon notch up their seventh 5-1 of a very dominant evening with Frenchman Bellego grabbing the chequered flag, ably supported by in-form reserve Wajtknecht in second.
Somerset recorded their only 5-1 of the night in the evening’s final heat when Doyle and Holder did enough to hold off a spirited Batchelor, with Musielak in fourth, for the Robins to claim a hugely impressive 58-32 victory and remain unbeaten on home shale this season.
SWINDON: Nick Morris 11+1 (3-2’-3-3), Adam Ellis 9+1 (2’-3-3-1), Troy Batchelor 9+2 (2’-1’-3-2-1), David Bellego 10+1 (3-2-2’-3), Tobiasz Musielak 9 (2-3-3-1-0), Zach Wajtknecht 10+3 (3-1-2’-2’-2’), Jack Smith 0 (0-0-0).
SOMERSET: Jason Doyle 12 (1-3-0-3-2-3), Jake Allen 1 (0-0-1), Charles Wright 2 (1-0-0-1), Jack Holder 7+1 (0-2-2-1-2’), Richard Lawson 3 (1-1-1-0), Jonas Jeppesen 1+1 (1’-0-0), Bradley Wilson-Dean 6 (2-3-1-0-0).