SHEFFIELD barely edged out a tenacious Belle Vue attack at the Owlerton Stadium, ending the BikeRight Aces’ unbeaten run with a 46-44 victory.
Things got off to a favourable start for the home side on Thursday, July 1 as they took a 4-point lead after the first two heats until the visitors bit back to level things off with a 5-1 in Heat 3.
The night was not without its drama, with track conditions very heavy early doors resulting in Richie Worrall crashing out of his second ride and causing minor damage to his machine.
But he was thankfully none the worse for wear, and the BikeRight Aces had plenty of fight in them as the business end of the meeting approached.
And a crucial 5-1 in Heat 13, courtesy of Dan Bewley and Brady Kurtz, was enough to force the TruPlant Tigers into a last-heat decider which was duly won by Jack Holder.
Team boss Mark Lemon was full of praise for his side’s gritty performance and, despite suffering their first loss in 2021, was delighted to still come away with a point.
He said: “Our focus on Sheffield was on getting a point at minimum to bolster our away point tally so we can be satisfied that we accomplished this goal.
“Track conditions were very heavy in places, and it was tough going on both teams, but it was still a very competitive match with plenty of action.
“There were places where points shouldn’t have slipped but the boys who dropped those points are already massively disappointed so we need to learn from this and move on to the next one.
“We couldn’t expect to go an entire season and not get beaten, but it’s a great feeling to have gotten as far as we have without suffering any losses.
“We just didn’t find our rhythm as quickly as we normally do, but as a group we pulled together and made sure that we didn’t leave Owlerton empty handed.”
Racing resumes at the National Speedway Stadium on Friday, July 2 when the Cool Running Colts take on the Kent Royals in National Development League action.
The BikeRight Aces are next on the shale at the National Speedway Stadium on July 12 against the Wolverhampton Wolves, with tickets on sale now.
All tickets, programmes and parking places must be reserved online ahead of attendance. There will be no ticket sales or otherwise available at the stadium until further notice.
RESULT – SHEFFIELD V BELLE VUE – THURSDAY, JULY 1 [SGBP]
Sheffield ‘TruPlant’ Tigers 46: Jack Holder 12, Adam Ellis 10, Troy Batchelor 7, Kyle Howarth 6, Anders Rowe 4+2, Justin Sedgmen 4, James Wright 3.
Belle Vue ‘BikeRight’ Aces 44: Dan Bewley 10+1, Charles Wright 8+2, Brady Kurtz 8+1, Richie Worrall 6+1, Steve Worrall 6+1, Tom Brennan 5+1, Jye Etheridge 1+1.
Premiership Points: Sheffield 3 Belle Vue 1