There’s work to do for the Belle Vue Colts after a difficult 64-25 start to their KOC semi-final with Mildenhall left them trailing by 39 points ahead of the return leg in Manchester on September 14.
A full compliment bar Joe Lawlor, who withdrew due to illness, struggled to fend off the might of the Fen Tigers at home as they proceeded to make ground over the visitors in the opening heats.
Eleven points was the difference after just 5 races as skipper Jack Smith tried to rally his side with an inspired performance, but track conditions were proving quite tricky for the lower order.
Smith top scored for the visitors with 9 points while Tom Perry complimented that with 7, but despite the result team boss Steve Williams was full of praise for his side’s efforts throughout.
He said: “Facing the strongest team in the league on their own track was always going to be a tough ask, and losing Joe Lawlor at the eleventh hour was far from ideal given how strong he is.
“We can’t fault the lads for their effort. They tried really hard to iron out the snags and were working overtime in the pits to try to solve the issues they were having but it just wasn’t to be.
“They soldiered on regardless and that’s all we could’ve asked. It’s going to be a challenge to pull back such a significant deficit but stranger things have happened and we’ll certainly give it a go.
“Obviously we want to see a response from the lads on Friday, when Buxton come to our place, but that[’s not something we need to emphasise. We need to dust ourselves down and move on.”
There’s a Premiership clash of epic proportions brewing at the National Speedway Stadium on Monday, August 20 when the Leicester Lions visit Manchester to battle the Rentruck Aces.
Then, the Cool Running Colts are back in action at home against the Buxton Hitmen on Friday August 24 as they look to bag a few more league points for their own top-four qualification.
Tickets for both home meetings are now available online at www.bellevueaces.co and at the stadium box office on race night.
RESULT - MILDENHALL V BELLE VUE - SUNDAY, AUGUST 19 [TPT NL KOC SF L1]
Mildenhall ‘Manchettes’ Fen Tigers 64: Drew Kemp 14+1, Danny Ayres 14+1, Josh Bailey 9+1, Ryan Kinsley 8+2, Sam Bebee 8+1, Jordan Jenkins 6+1, Matt Marson 5+2
Belle Vue ‘Cool Running’ Colts 25: Jack Smith 9, Tom Perry 7, Kyle Bickley 5, Ben Woodhull 3+1, Paul Bowen 1, Kean Dicken 0, Joe Lawlor R/R
Aggregate Scores: Mildenhall 64 Belle Vue 25