Belle Vue face a challenging 13-point deficit when they entertain Wolverhampton in Wednesday evening’s play off semi-final after slipping to a 51-38 defeat at Monmore Green on Monday.
A promising start to the first half of their play off semi-final in the Midlands saw the Rentruck Aces down by only a narrow 4-point margin, before a string of bad luck invaded their comeback efforts.
Captain Craig Cook, after a sterling display in his first ride, hit the deck in his two subsequent appearances while Rohan Tungate failed to complete his final three rides after also coming down.
But the visitors were far from finished with their rampant hosts and furiously bit back to pull back a daunting 14-point deficit to a more manageable 9-point gap with just one race to go.
This unfortunately came in the wake of a nasty crash for Jacob Thorssell, who was carted off by ambulance after colliding with the back straight safety fence following a bump with Tungate.
A 3-3 in Heat 15 would’ve been the ideal situation for the Rentruck Aces going into the second leg at home on Wednesday, but it wasn’t to be after the Wolves responded with a 5-1 to finish.
Despite a frustrating evening, team manager Mark Lemon said: “Considering the circumstances, and the evening we’ve had in general, we can’t be too dissatisfied with the overall result.
“It was tough night, but full credit to the guys. Their heads never dropped, and it isn’t an impossible margin to recover; especially if Friday’s result against Swindon in the KOC is anything to go by.
“We’ve just got to keep the pressure on. We knew Wolverhampton would be strong at home so tonight’s result isn’t entirely unexpected, and we’re only half done so there’s still lots to play for.”
Words: Hayley Bromley
Images: Ian Charles
The return leg of this 2016 Grand Final replay takes place at the National Speedway Stadium in less than 48 hours, where the Rentruck Aces aim to secure their spot in this year’s big finale.
Tickets are available online by clicking here and at the stadium ticket office on race night.