It’s Grand Final time for the Cool Running Colts as they look to seal the National League title on home territory at the National Speedway Stadium against rivals the Eastbourne Eagles.
The first leg at Arlington fell victim to dense fog following the conclusion of Heat 13; weather that rarely causes concern for speedway racing, but the winter months are of course rolling in.
It brought the meeting to a premature halt but not before a result could be declared which suited Belle Vue to a tee as it restricted damage to a 12-point deficit, well within their ability to pull back.
But it was a bitter sweet result after the loss of Andy Mellish, who was involved in a gnarly collision that ended his season after he suffered a broken toe and six broken metatarsals in his right foot.
It means the home team can only use an un-contracted 3.00-point guest in his place though they are greatly boosted by the return of star riders Dan Bewley and Jack Smith to their powerful ranks.
Team skipper Rob Shuttleworth said: “It was a tough night at Eastbourne and the mist rolling in was really a blessing in disguise in some respects as it’s afforded us a fighting chance at home.
“But we’re not taking anything for granted. We’ve only reached the halfway point and though our record at home would suggest we’re the favourites to win, Eastbourne aren’t making up numbers.
“They have a job to do, and an objective to achieve just as we have. This is the league title we’re talking about and both teams will be bringing their A-game to this second leg, no doubt.
“It’s such a blow for us to lose Andy so close to the end but I’m sure he’ll be there with us in spirit, and with both Dan and Jack with us there’s no reason we can’t recover the aggregate scores.”
The Cool Running Colts complete a busy week of racing on Friday against Mildenhall where an aggregate victory will see them through the Knock Out Cup grand final against Eastbourne.
Tickets for these upcoming fixtures are available now at www.bellevueaces.co, or at the ticket office on race day.
BELLE VUE V EASTBOURNE – 7:30PM – WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 18 – TPTNL GF L2
Belle Vue ‘Cool Running’ Colts
Dan Bewley, Kyle Bickley, Lee Payne R/R, Rob Shuttleworth (C), Jack Smith, Paul Bowen (G), Luke Woodhull; TM: Stephen Williams & Graham Goodwin
Eastbourne ‘IT First’ Eagles
Josh Bailey, Charley Powell R/R, Georgie Wood (C), Tom Brennan, Jake Knight, Drew Kemp, Mattie Bates, Jason Edwards (No.8); TM: Connor Dugard
Aggregate Scores: Belle Vue 33 Eastbourne 45
Words: Hayley Bromley
Image: Ian Charles