The Belle Vue Colts are at the halfway stage towards the National League Grand Final after triumphing 47-43 over Kent at the National Speedway Stadium and building up a four-point aggregate lead.
It was third time lucky for the Cool Running Colts after this first leg was twice postponed due to weather, and tensions were running high as both teams eye a spot in the title decider.
And it was Kent who made the better start after an opening 5-1 put them four points clear, though the home team quickly responded, but neither side was able to gain substantial ground.
The night was not without its drama after a dramatic Heat 8 incident in which Jordan Jenkins was excluded after bike problems caused a near-miss with Ben Woodhull; though neither rider was hurt.
Club No.5 Leon Flint was the star man for the Cool Running Colts, top scoring with 14 points, while Danny Phillips enjoyed an exceptional night with 9+1, and reinstated No.1 Jordan Palin added 6+1.
Palin said: “The team dug deep tonight. Everyone did what they had to do, and we’ve come away with a four-point lead, which has really boosted morale ahead of the return leg on Monday.
“Kent are a strong side and they certainly proved that tonight. But we were equally strong. We were down four points after Heat 1 and we managed to recover and gain the lead, which was the goal.
“On a personal note it was a challenging night. The averages changing mean I’m back at No.1 for now but I think the experience has done me good and I’m prepared for next week’s decider.
“We’ve got what it takes to pull it off and get into the final. It’s going to be close, I’d say our most challenging match of the year, but if we can push as hard as we did at home, I think we can do it.
The Cool Running Colts head to Sittingbourne on Monday, October 7 for the deciding leg of their Play Off Semi-Final against Kent, with the aggregate winner going through to Grand Final.
And the Manchester Masters Sidecar Speedway Final hits the National Speedway Stadium on Saturday, October 12 for a night of alternative methanol action.
Tickets for both home meetings are available at the stadium box office on race night, or in advance online at www.bellevue-speedway.com.
RESULT - BELLE VUE V KENT - FRIDAY, OCTOBER 4 [NL POSF L1]
Belle Vue ‘Cool Running’ Colts 47: Leon Flint 14, Danny Phillips 9+1, Jordan Palin 6+1, Kyle Bickley 6, Connor Bailey 5, Ben Rathbone 4+1, Ben Woodhull 3+1
Kent ‘Touch Tec’ Kings 43: Drew Kemp 10, Anders Rowe 9+2, Rob Ledwith 8, Dan Gilkes 7+1, Jordan Jenkins 4+1, Alex Spooner 4+1, Jake Mulford 1