Photo by Ian Charles: Kyle Bickley (Blue) and Dan Bewley (Red) leads Jack Parkinson-Blackburn (White) and Layne Cupitt into the first turn Belle Vue Cool Running Colts v Birmingham Surestart Brummies, Travel Plus National League, 18 August 2017

Reigning champions Birmingham clashed with Belle Vue in the Midlands on Wednesday night, with the latter taking their second victory in two days; 43-47, and three more league points.

Unlike their battle 48 hours earlier, the Cool Running Colts were far from comfortable as the Surestop Brummies maintained the pressure on the visitors and refused to let them pull clear.

With just one race to go, only two points separated the two sides with Jack Smith and guest No.1 Matt Williamson on guard to defend their slender lead against some highly fierce competition.

Williamson top scored for the visitors with 14+1 while stand-in skipper Rob Shuttleworth clocked up 12 points and Smith notched an impressive 8+1 from his five programmed rides.

Team boss Steve Williams said: “We always knew it’d be a tough ask to come to Birmingham and take any kind of convincing result. They’re the reigning champions for a very good reason.

“But we couldn’t be more delighted with the performance of the guys tonight. Their second win in as many days and against a team like the Brummies it’s an extra special achievement.

“The team spirit is such a powerful factor behind the success of this side and tonight, even without Dan and Lee, it shone through amongst all the lads with our race jacket on their chest.

“I think it’s fair to say our spot in the play offs is cemented and while our league campaign is starting to wind down now, we’ll be maintaining a key interest in our potential title contenders.”

Words: Hayley Bromley,Images: Ian Charles

Premiership action continues in Manchester on August 25th with the return of the Leicester Lions to the National Speedway Stadium, where the Rentruck Aces eagerly await their challenge.

Tickets are now on sale at www.bellevueaces.co or from the stadium box office on race night.

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