Bird-Line to victory for Cool Running Colts at National Speedway Stadium

AN action-packed night of racing at the National Speedway Stadium saw the Cool Running Colts emerge victorious to the tune of a well-deserved 46-43 win over Eastbourne. 

The night was not without its dramas early doors with Harry McGurk picking up violently in Heat 1 and being thrown from his machine, though he thankfully managed to walk away.

His brother Sam, meanwhile, who had just returned to the saddle found his night brought to an abrupt end after just three laps when he too came to grief in his first ride and aggravated his leg injury.

Harry McGurk loses control of his machine on the back straight during the National Development League match (Credit: Ian Charles | MI News)

With only Ben Woodhull available to cover the younger McGurk’s remaining programmed rides, and with the Seagulls leading from the start, it left the Cool Running Colts with work to do.

In-form Nathan Ablitt proved a powerful force at reserve for the visitors but the Belle Vue boys took a leaf out of the Aces’ book and dug deep to swing the tide in their favour.

It all boiled down to a last-heat decider in which guest No.1 Jack Smith delivered a stupendous performance and secured the win for his former club on the night.

It was a commendable night for all of the boys, and in particular Paul Bowen who teamed up with Jack Parkinson-Blackburn following a shuffle in the averages.

Connor Coles (Red) outside Danno Verge (Yellow), Ben Woodhull (Blue) with Joe Alcock (White) behind (Credit: Ian Charles | MI News)

Paul said: “After our last match against Kent, we needed to bounce back with a win at home and we managed to do just that and finish the night three points up on Eastbourne.

“Some of the Seagulls lads did catch us by surprise in places. Nathan Ablitt was on fire for them, and Danno Verge had some pretty impressive rides so they definitely made us work for it.

“It was a big blow to lose Sam so early in the meeting. For someone who is only in his first full season of NDL racing he is already a big presence for us at reserve.

“We knew we were going to have to work even harder after that if we wanted the win, but everybody knuckled down and chipped away and I think we got the result we deserved.”

The Cool Running Colts are next in action at the National Speedway Stadium next Thursday, July 29 against the Leicester Cubs, after the BikeRight Aces journey to Wolverhampton on Monday, July 26.

Tickets for this and all 2021 fixtures are now available, unrestricted, online at and we would encourage all our supporters to buy in advance where possible.

Jack Parkinson-Blackburn (Red) leads Paul Bowen (Blue) and Connor King (Yellow) (Credit: Ian Charles | MI News)


Belle Vue ‘Cool Running’ Colts 46: Jack Smith 14, Jack Parkinson-Blackburn 8+2, Paul Bowen 8+1, Connor Coles 6, Ben Woodhull 5+2, Harry McGurk 5+1, Sam McGurk 0

Eastbourne ‘Thurrock Hammers’ Seagulls 43: Nathan Ablitt 16+2, Jake Knight 10, Richard Andrews 8+2, Danno Verge 6, Connor King 3, Joe Alcock 0, Vinnie Joe Foord 0

NDL points: Belle Vue 3 Eastbourne 1 

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