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PREMIER LEAGUE NEWS

Rebels boost

CHEDDAR Woods have become a Somerset team associate sponsor. They are part of Darwin Escapes who have handcrafted each of their 15 holiday destinations (16 parks) to ensure they have something to offer everyone.

As part of the tie-up, the Rebels will feature in the advertising details and client newsletter for the Cheddar Woods resort, which can provide an ideal location for the long-distance speedway fan.

Stunned Scunny

Senior Search Strategist Mark Martin explained: “First, we are really excited to be part of the Somerset Rebels’ stable of team sponsors and partners,” he said.

“If anyone is travelling to the Somerset Speedway from a distance and looking for accommodation in the area, then one great place to stay in the area is Cheddar Woods Resort & Spa which has been rated five stars by Visit England and features stunning holiday lodges, many of which even have hot tubs.

“There’s also plenty of facilities to take advantage of at the resort for the whole family, including an indoor swimming pool and even a bowling alley.

“It would provide an ideal location for people not only wishing to visit the speedway, but to also enjoy everything that the County of Somerset has to offer.”

Somerset promoter Debbie Hancock was equally as delighted with the new addition to the club’s group of sponsors.

“As I have said on many occasions in the past, we are lucky here at Somerset in that we have a very good loyal band of sponsors, without whom we simply could not operate, and we are delighted to welcome Cheddar Woods into our group of sponsors,” she said.

“Through their parent company, Darwin Escapes, Cheddar Woods will continually keep their clientele updated with everything that is happening here at the Oaktree Arena, and have already added the ‘Cases’ Somerset Rebels to the list of attractions to visit for people staying at the resort.”

On track, tomorrow (Friday) will see the Rebels return to competitive action with their opening Premier League match of the season with the visit of Scunthorpe to the Oaktree Arena.

Despite the Scorpions’ sketchy start to the season, Somerset team manager Garry May says that his side cannot take anything for granted.

“You can ignore anything Scunthorpe have done or not done already this season,” he said, “as they have riders who are more than capable of scoring decent points at the Oaktree Arena with the likes of Josh Auty, Carl Wilkinson, Ryan Douglas and, of course, Alex Davies in their side.

“In addition, Scunthorpe have had far more competitive racing than ourselves, this will only be our third full fixture of the season, but in saying that, I know that my boys are keen to get our league campaign off to the best possible start, so it should be a cracker of a meeting!”

Report: HELEN KENNEDY

SHELLSHOCKED Scunthorpe boss Rob Godfrey has called on Scorpions fans to show a bit of patience after witnessing what he described as “a shocking performance” against Peterborough on Sunday.

For the second home meeting running, the destiny of the League Cup points was decided with almost a third of the match still to go. A fortnight earlier against Sheffield, the Scorpions trailed 28-41 after Heat 11; against the Panthers, they were 26-43 down before eventually slumping to a 21-point defeat.

A crestfallen Godfrey fronted up to supporters at the Eddie Wright Raceway from the centregreen microphone and told them: “All I can say to the Scunny fans is, you know me, I’m not going to give up. We have problems but Dave (team manager Peet) and I are going to work it out. We will sort it.

“Taking the two Peterborough meetings out of it, we haven’t been that bad but Peterborough were so good at their place and they were so good again tonight.”

After retreating to the pits, the Scorpions boss told Speedway Star: “That was probably one of the worst we’ve ever had. Off the top of my head right now, I can only think of the King’s Lynn one a few years ago when we got absolutely spanked (a 70-20 thrashing by the Stars in the Knockout Cup semi-final in 2008).

“But we were shocking at Peterborough and we were shocking here again tonight. Three race wins is just not good enough.

“We’re getting outgated all the time but, having said that, we were good at Sheffield on Thursday night. We are really Jekyll and Hyde at the moment. What can I say? I’m not the one

Scunthorpe’s Josh Bailey leading Peterborough’s Tom Perry.

Picture: ALEX SUMMERFIELD

riding the bike. Yes, we put the team together but it’s just not performing at the minute.”

Older Scunthorpe fans with long memories may recall the events of 43 years ago, almost to the day, when Peterborough visited Quibell Park on April 23, 1973 and scorched to a 59-19 away win that, at the time, set a British League record.

The repercussions of that humiliation ultimately led to the Saints signing former World Finalist Ken McKinlay as ridercoach and although Scunthorpe’s capitulation on Sunday was nowhere near of the magnitude of the ’73 debacle, Godfrey admits he may follow his predecessor Brian Osborn into the transfer market.

“All I know is, we can’t continue as we are,” he said. “The averages will change on the first, we’ve got the (Zdenek) Holub situation to look at and we’ve got some options to look at to get us back on track where we need to be. For starters, we’ve got my Danish kid (Andreas Lyager) and there’s also another kid I’m looking at right now.

Johnson quits

PETERBOROUGH have seen a second team boss stand down in the space of a month.

Carl Johnson has called time on his near two-year stint in the ‘T Balfe Construction’ Panthers hotseat due to family commitments.

Johnson took charge at the East of England Showground during the summer of 2014 and guided Panthers into the League Cup final, where they lost to Edinburgh, later that season.

And he steered them into the semi-finals of the play-offs last season – when the Monarchs again blocked their route to glory – when working alongside Dale Allitt as co-bosses.

“We can do it but we need a bit of patience from everyone. We will turn it round. I’m not having a season like this, I can assure you.”

New signing Ashley Morris, who joined the Scorpions shortly after Speedway Star went to press last week, made a decent first impression with a four paid five debut against the Panthers on Sunday.

There are unlikely to be any further changes to the Scunthorpe team before the start of the Premier League programme at Somerset tomorrow (Friday) but Godfrey and Peet have until April 24 to ponder their options before the next home match against Plymouth.

Report: ANDREW SKEELS

Allitt (above) had to relinquish his Peterborough role on the eve of this campaign after being made a promoter at King’s Lynn with Johnson taking sole charge again.

But he has now departed due to family commitments with Allitt receiving permission to step back in on a short-term basis as Panthers negotiate a busy spell of four fixtures in the next 10 days.

Johnson, whose reign ended with a 57-36 thumping of Scunthorpe in the Premier League Cup on Sunday, said: “It

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