Five years ago a dramatic first bend incident in the Grand Final of the Premier League Pairs championship caused heartbreak for Somerset fans and Nick Morris alike.
That decision to disqualify Morris still irks amongst many of the Somerset faithful, even though the event dates back to July 11th 2014, for it not only handed the title to final rivals Edinburgh but denied the Rebels the opportunity of making it back-to-back Pairs titles.
Now, five seasons on, Morris is back as one-half of the Rebels duo who will be seeking gold at the Oak Tree Arena on Friday night in the event that nowadays goes under the title of SGB Championship Pairs. The 25-year old Canberran links up with 35 year old Rory Schlein in a very strong field that includes a number of riders with solid Oak Tree experience.
Somerset club owner Debbie Hancock, who is staging the meeting on behalf of the BSPA, admits “It is a very open field but naturally I am hoping for a Somerset success this time around, not least so that our Championship Fours trophy can have a friend to sit next to in our trophy cabinet!”
Edinburgh are another all-Australian partnership as former Rebels Sam Masters, who was one half of that 2014 victorious Edinburgh side, links up with present day Monarchs partner Cameron Heeps, both riders having been past Rebels.
Glasgow look to have a particularly solid combination in Craig Cook and one-time Rebel Rasmus Jensen, whilst Sheffield rest their hopes on a third straight lifting of the title with Kyle Howarth who appeared for the Tigers in their last two successes, expected to be fit to take his place alongside Danny King
Redcar who have already seen Charles Wright crowned British Champion and Erik Riss become the SGB Championship Rider winner will have fitness concerns over Michael Palm-Toft, who is scheduled to join Riss, as Wright is engaged in the official practice of the British Grand Prix at Cardiff. Turnstiles will open at 5pm on Friday with the meeting getting underway at 7pm