The Belle Vue Colts take a handy 6-point lead into the second leg of their National League Knock Out Cup Semi-Final against Cradley after triumphing 39-45 at Monmore Green on Monday evening.
The meeting was abandoned after Heat 14 due to curfew, with the Heathens’ league fixture against Kent having preceded their clash with Belle Vue, though it did little to phase the visitors.
Cradley were triumphant in the first match of this double-header, but they did not have things their own way against the Cool Running Colts, who were immediately on the offensive and got stuck in
By Heat 10, the scores were squared at 30 apiece until a sensational 1-5 from Kyle Bickley and Connor Bailey took Belle Vue into the lead; an advantage their hosts could not pull back.
Team boss Graham Goodwin said: “It was a bit of a rush after the first meeting ran over, but the boys were patient and put in a solid night’s work, and it’s given us a real boost ahead of Wednesday.
“Track conditions were slightly tricky. The Cradley boys were well used to it by the time we rolled up to the tapes, but it didn’t take us long to figure things out and the boys got right on with the job.
“A couple of the lads had a fall here and there, but it was nothing to worry about on their part. We’re halfway to the finals but there’s a still a job to do and we now shift our focus to the home leg.
Monday’s win means the Cool Running Colts head to Manchester in the driving seat of the aggregate scores, where they will no doubt be targeting a continuation of their recent home results.
And with the team remaining at full strength, and now with six consecutive victories under their belts, confidence is high, but they are not about to get complacent, as Goodwin says:
“We were quietly confident we could win at Cradley, but there is still a job to do on our part. A 6-point led is good to have but we’ll be treating Wednesday as though we’re starting from scratch.
“Having that lead does make the job slightly easier but it doesn’t mean the boys can relax. Cradley are very capable on their day and we can’t afford to be caught off guard, especially at home.
“We have faith this team can do what needs to be done, and we urge supporters to turn out in force to support them. It really does make a massive difference to have the support of your home crowd.”
The Cool Running Colts take control of the National Speedway Stadium as they look forward to their KOC semi-final against the Cradley Heathens next Wednesday, September 18.
And their spot in the National League Play Offs is now consolidated with Kent and Leicester, as they wait to find out the remaining qualifier on Friday from Plymouth’s clash with Mildenhall.
Tickets for their home meeting are now available online at www.bellevue-speedway.com, or at the stadium box office on race night.
RESULT – CRADLEY V BELLE VUE – MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 16
Cradley ‘Anchor Logistics’ Heathens 39: Max Clegg 11+1, Connor Coles 9, Luke Harris 8+1, Harry McGurk 4, Jack Smith 4, James Chattin 2+1, Sam Woolley (no.8) 1, Tom Spencer R/R.
Belle Vue ‘Cool Running’ Colts 45: Connor Bailey 9+1, Danny Phillips 9, Leon Flint 7+1, Kyle Bickley 7+1, Ben Woodhull 6+2, Jordan Palin 4+1, Ben Rathbone 3.
BELLE VUE V CRADLEY – 7:30PM – WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 18
Belle Vue ‘Cool Running’ Colts: Kyle Bickley (C) 8.53, Connor Bailey 7.68, Jordan Palin 8.43, Danny Phillips 6.97, Leon Flint 8.23, Ben Rathbone 3.06, Ben Woodhull 3.29; TM: Steve Williams & Graham Goodwin
Cradley ‘Anchor Logistics’ Heathens: Max Clegg (C) 10.43, Luke Harris 5.43, Tom Spencer R/R 3.43, Connor Coles (G) 7.18, Jack Smith 6.89, Harry McGurk 2.87, James Chattin (G) 2.78; TM: Will Pottinger