The 2017 National League Grand Final beckons for the Belle Vue Colts after an overpowering performance against the Lakeside Hammers put them through to this year’s epic title decider.
A fiercely-contested first leg at the Arena Essex Raceway saw a depleted Cool Running Colts side battle hard to keep pace with the Vortex Hammers, eventually going down 53-37.
It meant they faced a 16-point deficit upon their return to the National Speedway Stadium where the league No.1’s were quietly confident a recovery effort was more than doable over 15 heats.
And they made a dream start to their evening with three consecutive 5-1s and a 4-2 to bring the disadvantage to just 2 points after four races, with the aggregate scores hanging by a thread.
Heat 6 marked the turning point for both teams when Belle Vue took the overall lead for the first time, while commanding the action on the night and there was little to stop them running rampant.
Dan Bewley ruled the roost with a 18-point maximum from six rides while Jack Smith added a paid 18-point maximum, and both Rob Shuttleworth and Kyle Bickley contributed 11+3.
It was the biggest home win of the season for a side who is yet to be beaten at the National Speedway Stadium and substitute skipper Shuttleworth was delighted with his team’s efforts.
He said: “The boys had a brilliant night. Everything went to plan perfectly and we got the result we wanted. There didn’t feel like there was any pressure on us really, even despite the initial deficit.
“It was a tough first leg but all the same it didn’t feel like the onus was on me, Dan or Jack to force the race wins because all the guys were putting in their shift and performing so strongly.
“At first it crossed my mind that 16 points might be tough to recover because lakeside have a lot of experienced riders who have ridden at the highest levels of speedway at one time or another.
“I think we expected more of a challenge from them to be honest but at the same time, we were confident we could pull back the deficit. I just don’t think any of us thought we’d do it so quickly.”
Words: Hayley Bromley
Images: Ian Charles
There’s plenty to look forward to as the season reaches its climax, with both the Premiership Aces and the National League Colts facing Knock Out Cup action in the upcoming week.
The Rentruck Aces have a grudge match brewing with the Wolverhampton Wolves at home on Wednesday October 11 while the Cool Running Colts clash with Mildenhall on Friday October 13.
A new event to our calendar, the ACU British Sidecar Speedway Championship Final graces NSS shale October 14 before the end of season celebration, “The Maugers”, on Saturday October 21.
Tickets for all upcoming events are available now at www.bellevueaces.co and at the ticket office on race night. For bookings for “The Maugers”, contact 0161 711 0828, choosing Option 2.