Belle Vue’s National League Knock Out Cup dreams came to an end on Friday night, despite edging out Mildenhall 51-39 to close their 2017 campaign as an undefeated team at home.
It was quite a challenge presented to a depleted Cool Running Colts side, first to recover a 16-point deficit and then to maintain it to progress through to the grand final against Eastbourne.
And at one stage it looked as though they were on target to achieve such a feat, having levelled the aggregate scores as soon as Heat 5 while making headway to build an advantage.
A deadlock ensued until Heat 10 when the home team broke away and managed to open up a 10-point lead before the Fen Tigers responded to square things up once again in Heat 12.
It went down to a last-heat decider wherein only a 5-1 to Belle Vue would be sufficient to see them make the journey to Arlington one last time but infortunately it just wasn’t on the cards.
Skipper Rob Shuttleworth said: “It’s one of those where you can’t have it all, and the whole team has been mega all season so we really can’t complain. Mildenhall were very strong opponents.
“We’ve been very unfortunate with injuries in the late season, and so many fixture clashes as we build up to the last few days has also cost us quite heavily. But it is what is; it’s speedway.
“There was only myself and Luke Woodhull of the original seven riding on Friday. We had four guests who came in and did an amazing job. We couldn’t ask for more than we got from them.
“I’m certain that had we had our usual set we would’ve been able to make more of an impression. But you can’t take it away from Mildenhall. They did a great job and we tip or hats to them.”
With the final fixture done and dusted, it only remains for the club to round off 2017 on October 21 with their end-of-season celebration The Maugers. Tickets info at www.bellevueaces.co.
RESULT – BELLE VUE V MILDENHALL – FRIDAY OCTOBER 20 – TPTNL KOC SF L2
Belle Vue ‘Cool Running’ Colts 51
Richard Hall 15+1, Ben Hopwood 12+1, Mitchell Davey 10+3, Rob Shuttleworth 9+1, Paul Bowen 3, Luke Woodhull 2, Lee Payne R/R
Mildenhall ‘Manchesttes’ Fen Tigers 39
Connor Mountain 11, Jon Armstrong 10, Drew Kemp 8+1, Jordan Jenkins 6+1, Luke Ruddick 2+1, Alex Spooner 2, Dan Halsey R/R
Mildenhall Win 92-88 On Aggregate
Words: Hayley Bromley
Image: Ian Charles