PLYMOUTH Devils made a promising start in their Premier League match away to Somerset on Friday evening and were all square after four heats, but eventually suffered a 57-35 defeat away to the league leaders.
Somerset took control with a run of four successive 5-1 race wins in heats five to eight to leave the Devils with a 16-point deficit which they never looked capable of pulling back.
Jack Holder and skipper Kyle Newman each managed a race win for the Devils, but Somerset provided the first man home in the other 13 heats.
On an encouraging note for Plymouth, young reserve Ellis Perks had one of his better scores with four (paid seven) points from his four rides. But Steve Boxall, who will drop to fill the other reserve position in the new averages for September, failed to score from three outings.
The two sides were due to meet again in the return match at the St Boniface Arena on Saturday evening, starting at 7.15 pm.
Somerset: Josh Grajczonek 10+2 (5 rides), Jake Allen 6+2 (4), Charles Wright 7+2 (4), Paul Starke 8 (4), Rohan Tungate 15 (5). Reserves: Bradley Wilson Dean 11+1 (4), Luke Priest 0 (4).
Plymouth: Jack Holder 11 (5), Steve Boxall 0 (3), Stefan Nielsen 7 (4), Todd Kurtz 4+2 (4), Kyle Newman 6 (5). Reserves: Sam Simota 3+1 (5), Ellis Perks 4+3 (4).