Belle Vue have work to do in the home leg of their Premiership Knock Out Cup semi-final against Somerset after the latter dominated the first round at the Oaktree Arena, triumphing 52-38.
The Rentruck Aces knew to expect a challenge from the Cases Rebels and they made certain to deliver one, stamping their authority all over the meeting and building a substantial lead.
But the visitors, missing injury victim Dan Bewley, fought back with equal vigour and managed to sneak in a few heat advantages of their own before their hosts secured victory on the night.
It means the men from Manchester face another thrilling encounter with the southerners at the National Speedway Stadium, though they would’ve preferred things to have been a little closer.
Team boss Mark Lemon said: “It was frustrating night for us because the only thing holding us back were bike problems, and at one point or another all the boys seemed to suffer them.
“Jason Doyle’s withdrawal from the meeting was the perfect opportunity for us to claw back points but the gremlins just kept coming and we weren’t able to capitalise as much as we should.
“Craig [Cook] was absolutely flying and then mechanical failures left him with no bikes left to ride. It’s not the way we saw our night going but full credit to Somerset, they took advantage of it.
“The KOC is a two-legged affair though and 14 points is quite retrievable. We had a full debrief after the meeting to address a few things and we’’ll be back stronger for the home stint.”
The Rentruck Aces have a cluster of significant meetings ahead, as they continue the defence of their KOC title at the National Speedway Stadium in Manchester next Wednesday, September 19.
They then commence their play off campaign with a visit from King’s Lynn on September 24 before they head to Norfolk for the second leg at the Adrian Flux Arena on October 1.
The Cool Running Colts are also back at home on September 14 against Mildenhall. Tickets for all home fixtures are available at www.bellevueaces.co and at the stadium box office on race night.
RESULT - SOMERSET V BELLE VUE - WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 12
Somerset ‘Cases’ Rebels 52: Jake Allen 15+2, Jack Holder 10, Richard Lawson 9+1, Bradley Wilson-Dean 7+1, Jason Doyle 4+1, Aaron Summers 4, Nico Covatti 3+1
Belle Vue ‘Rentruck’ Aces 38: Max Fricke 8+1, Rohan Tungate 8+1, Craig Cook 8, Dimitri Berge 8, Steve Worrall 5+1, Mark Riss 1+1, Dan Bewley R/R