Friday July 06, 2007
BRUMMIES new-boy Manuel Hauzinger top-scored with 9 (paid 10), but the Austrian star couldn’t stop the Midlanders from crashing to a 58-32 Premier League defeat at Somerset’s Oak Tree Arena on Friday night.

Birmingham guest Kauko Nieminen chipped in with 9 points, but the Brummies had no answer for a solid scoring Rebels team which saw skipper Magnus Zetterstrom lead by example with a 14 (paid 15) maximum.

The meeting was close in the early stages with the scores level at 12-12, which included a Brummies 4-2 in heat 4 when Hauzinger took the chequered flag ahead of Ritchie Hawkins and Emiliano Sanchez. However, a Somerset 5-1 in heat 5 and a 4-2 in heat 6 put the home side into a 21-15 lead.

A further Rebels maximum from Stephan Katt and Danny Warwick in heat 8 and an Emil Kramer and Jordan Frampton 4-2 in heat 9 made it 33-21. Unfortunately by then the meeting proved to be beyond Birmingham’s reach as Somerset really upped the tempo in the second-half of the meeting.

Even a Nieminen tactical ride in heat 12 didn’t reap any reward, as the Finn ran in third place behind the home pairing of Warwick and Kramer. This resulted in another Rebels five-pointer, which was quickly followed up by five more in heat 13.

The match was finished off with two Somerset 4-2’s in heats 14 and 15 and, the ensuing twenty-six-point win saw the Rebels pick up the bonus point as a result of their 99-81 aggregate victory.

The three points gained for Somerset on the night puts them on top of the Premier League for the first time this season.

SOMERSET: Magnus Zetterstrom 14+1, Emil Kramer 10+1, Simon Walker 10+1, Ritchie Hawkins 9, Jordan Frampton 5+2, Danny Warwick 5+1, Stephan Katt 5

BIRMINGHAM: Manuel Hauzinger 9+1, Kauko Nieminen 9, Ulrich Ostergaard 5, Emiliano Sanchez 5, Ben Powell, 3, Lee Smart 1+1, Jon Armstrong 0

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