Belle Vue’s top-of-the-table clash against Mildenhall lived up to the hype when the National League top two clashed in Manchester where the Fen Tigers ultimately stole the 43-47 victory.
On a night where many has tipped the visitors to win emphatically, the Cool Running Colts had a few surprises up their sleeve and remained in control of the meeting for much of the night.
It wasn’t until Heat 13 that the Fen Tigers were able to take the lead for the first time, and even then the hosts refused to back off and forced them into a nail-biting last-heat decider.
There was plenty of drama added into the mix with some exceptionally close racing, and maximum points for style going to Ben Woodhull who was almost launched into orbit in Heat 8.
And Paul Bowen, despite a few later falls, contributed two crucial heat wins in his opening rides while Ben Wilson proved an inspirational guest, top scoring with 11 with Kyle Bickley adding 10.
Bowen said: “We expected a tough meeting. Mildenhall are a solid team so there performance didn’t surprise us, but I think it was our performance that proved the most surprising of us both.
“We’d heard rumours we were going to get thrashed and we were determined to prove that wasn’t going to happen, and the fact that we pushed them to Heat 13 was a great achievement.
“It doesn’t compensate for the disappointment we feel at having lost though. I know that if I hadn’t had those falls I could’ve scored a few more points that could’ve made the difference.
“But it is what it is, and I think tonight we’ve shown Mildenhall that they can’t expect an easy ride when we go to their place on Sunday. We’ve moved on and are ready to mix it up down there.”
Premiership action resumes on Monday, August 6 at the National Speedway Stadium as the Rentruck Aces go into battle against King’s Lynn in a bid to reclaim their place in the top four.
Tickets available online now at www.bellevueaces.co and at the stadium box office on race night.
RESULT - BELLE VUE V MILDENHALL - WEDNESDAY AUGUST 1
Belle Vue ‘Cool Running’ Colts 43: Ben Wilson 11, Kyle Bickley 10, Tom Perry 7, Paul Bowen 6, Joe Lawlor 5+2, Ben Woodhull 2+1, Kean Dicken 2+1
Mildenhall ‘Manchettes’ Fen Tigers 47: Drew Kemp 13, Danny Ayres 12+1, Josh Bailey 8+1, Jordan Jenkins 6+1, Sam Bebee 3+1, Ryan Kinsley 3, Matt Marson 2+1