The Somerset 'Mike Manning Audio' Rebels can look forward to this Friday's Premier Trophy clash with the Reading 'Ideal Video' Racers with optimism high following a highly successful Easter campaign, home and away, against the highly fancied Exeter Falcons.

Having put the Falcons to the sword at the Oak Tree Arena last Friday, winning the meeting 52-41, the Rebels took their 11 point advantage to the County Ground for the return match on Bank Holiday Monday morning.

Although going behind by 12 points after 7 heats, the Rebels recovered go into the final heat 10 points down on the day, but still 1 point to the good for the all important aggregate bonus point. A superb 4-2 heat advantage to the Rebels, courtesy of man of the match Glenn Cunningham and Paul Fry, ensured that the Rebels hung on to that bonus point, taking them to 2nd place in the Premier Trophy Southern Section.

After a season in 2004 which promised so much, the Reading fans must have been somewhat disappointed in seeing their team all too often fall at the final hurdle. Their 2005 line up shows a degree of consistency from that which ended the 2004 season, the major omission, however, being Phil Morris, who has moved on the pastures new with Newcastle. Could this be an omen for the Racers?

The only other time Morris was not part of the Reading set up, they went on to win the title! Runners up in the 2004 Premier Trophy, Reading's start to their 2005 campaign has not gone well with an away defeat to Newport and then being beaten at home by Isle of Wight, a meeting which saw Reading skipper, Danny Bird, suffer a broken tibia and fibula in his left leg which is anticipated to keep him out of saddle for not only this Friday's meeting, but a fair part of the season.



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