Wolverhampton Wolves suffer first home loss
Wolverhampton’s luck at home finally ran out as they went down 49-41 to Somerset last night in their first league defeat of the season at Monmore Green.
The Parrys International Wolves had been far from convincing in their last two narrow home wins over Leicester and Poole, but the strength in depth of Somerset – who included world champion Jason Doyle in their line-up – proved too much for the Monmore men.
The SGB Premiership fixture was full of drama and controversy in the early exchanges and Wolves were never able to recover from a slow start that saw No.1 Jacob Thorssell and reserve Nathan Greaves crash out of the opening two races as they fell four behind.
Sam Masters eventually got the better of Aussie compatriot Aaron Summers in the rerun of heat three after exchanging places on more than one occasion before the visitors opened up a six-point lead in the fourth after Covatti and Jack Holder out-trapped home skipper Rory Schlein and Greaves.
It’s rare Wolves find themselves behind so early on and that prompted team boss Peter Adams to roll his dice at the very first opportunity. He brought in Schlein as a tactical substitute and it looked to have worked perfectly as he and Masters got the better of Doyle on the opening bends and pulled away on a 5-1. But Wilson-Dean, slid off on his own and stayed on the deck to force another rerun, with no punishment for the visitors. And as so many felt would happen in typical speedway fashion, Doyle refocussed and came back out to comfortably win a second straight outing.
The Rebels sat on a 5-1 in the seventh and looked set to extend their lead to 12, but on the final lap debutant Summers suffered an engine failure, allowing everyone through before Schlein roared under Lawson into bend three to help the hosts claim a 4-2 and reduce the deficit to just six points in a massive swing.
But their relief was short-lived as they conceded a 5-1 from the tapes in the next though and that 10-point gap remained until heat 11.
A glimmer of hope was offered when Masters and Greaves linked up for a maximum in the next with the scores back to 39-33, but Somerset responded instantly with another 5-1 of their own that sent them on their way to securing all four league points available as they flew to the top of the Premiership table.
Wolves’ trip to Poole tomorrow has been postponed and will aim to get back to winning ways when Swindon visit Monmore Green next Monday (July 16, 7.30pm) in a repeat of last year’s Grand Final.