Belle Vue bowed out of National League Knock Out Cup contention after a fierce battle with Mildenhall at the National Speedway Stadium ended in a 68-111 defeat on aggregate.
But the win on the night remained wide open to anyone as the Cool Running Colts restricted the Fen Tigers’ ability to capitalise on an early lead, forcing the meeting into an extended deadlock.
It ultimately went down to heat 15 where the visitors held a 4-point advantage with the hosts targeting a 5-1 to force a draw and ens their season in Manchester of a deserved high.
Mildenhall had other ideas however and were steadfast in their efforts to keep Joe Lawlor at the back while Jack Smith took some satisfaction from beating the undefeated Drew Kemp.
It more than likely brings to a close a successful year for the team, who have demonstrated great progress and development from top to bottom as club No.6 Paul Bowen can attest.
He said: “It’s been a phenomenal season for us. We had our critics at the beginning of the year but I think we’ve proved to everyone what kind of team we are with the progress we’ve made.
“Obviously we’re gutted to have lost on the night. It’s likely we won’t race again this year and it would’ve been nice to wrap things up with a win. But you can’t win them all and we know that.
“Mildenhall are tough customers and we’d already made peace with the fact that 39 points was a big ask, but we wanted the win to prove a point and we gave them a good run for their money.
“Full credit to them, they’re a strong team and I’d be surprised not to see them in the play off final. We’ll be back next year looking to bring the title home where it belongs so watch this space.
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.
Tickets for both home fixtures are available at www.bellevueaces.co and at the stadium box office on race night.
RESULT - BELLE VUE V MILDENHALL - FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 14
Belle vue ‘Cool Running’ Colts 43: Jack Smith 14, Joe Lawlor 9+1, Paul Bowen 7+3, Ben Woodhull 7+2, Jon Armstrong (G) 4+2, Kean Dicken 2+1, Tom Perry R/R
Mildenhall ‘KJM/Manchettes’ Fen Tigers 47: Drew Kemp 17, Jordan Jenkins 14+1, Danny Phillips 9+1, Matt Marson 5, Tom Woolley (G) 1, Sam Bebee 1, Danny Ayres R/R
Aggregate Scores: Belle Vue 68 Mildenhall 111