BELLE VUE boss Mark Lemon hailed his team’s “courageous efforts” at Ipswich on Thursday night (May 20) after they forced the home side into a last-heat decider and nabbed a 45-45 draw.
The BikeRight Aces made good on their promise to give the Witches a scare at Foxhall, reinforcing their title ambitions and picking up two more league points in the process.
Things took a tense turn early doors when former Belle Vue star Jason Crump led his team to a first heat 5-1, leaving current Aces No.1 Brady Kurtz and Richie Worrall in his dust.
But it wasn’t quite the lead the Witches had hoped to establish, as the BikeRight Aces drew on their more stubborn traits and dug in to prevent them from getting carried away.
Being six points down after Heat 6 did proved useful to the Mancunians, however, with the deficit putting them in tactical territory and Mark Lemon designating Kurtz the tac sub in Heat 9.
The gamble paid off, without putting a dent in the Ipswich lead, but it gave Belle Vue the boost they needed to subsequently nail two consecutive 5-1s to finally take the lead for themselves.
It all came down to the wire in Heat 15 after the Witches squared things off with one race to go, but team boss Mark lemon was more than happy to end with the 3-3 and two league points.
He said: “I have four words to describe the performance tonight: a very courageous effort. We’ve done a lot of talking in the build-up to the season, and now these guys are walking the walk.
“It was a blow to have that 5-1 thrown at us so early on, but we didn’t panic. We had a process in our minds to stick to and the boys kept their cool and did their jobs.
“Choosing the gates in Heat 15 meant we could roll with the punches that the track would throw up, and but for a couple of bits of bad luck in places, the story may have ended differently.
“With Jye (Etheridge) taking a tumble in Heat 14 and Charles (Wright) suffering engine failure the race before, I think we could’ve squeezed a couple more points out of the night.
“But we’ll happily take the away draw all day long and I’m delighted to see all the boys stepping up when we need them to. It’s a big boost for us ahead of Wolverhampton on Monday.”
Friday, May 21 sees the return of Speedway action to the National Speedway Stadium where the Cool Running Colts kick off their NDL season in Manchester against Newcastle.
Tickets are available online only at this time via bellevue-speedway.com and must be purchased in advance of the meeting. There will be no ticket sales at the stadium.
RESULT – BELLE VUE ACES V IPSWICH WITCHES – THURSDAY, MAY 20 [SGBP]
Ipswich ‘TruPlant’ Witches 45: Anders Rowe 11+2, Danny King 11+1, Jake Allen 11+1, Jason Crump 7+1, Cameron Heeps 5+1, Drew Kemp 0, Jordan Stewart R/R
Belle Vue ‘BikeRight’ Aces 45: Brady Kurtz 13+1, Dan Bewley 10+2, Steve Worrall 7+2, Richie Worrall 7, Jye Etheridge 4, Charles Wright 3+1, Tom Brennan 1+1
Premiership Points: Ipswich 1 Belle Vue 2