A close encounter up to the last few heats saw the Belle Vue ‘Cool Running’ Colts suffer their heaviest away defeat of the season at Iwade, going down 54-36 to the Kent Royals.
In the early stages of the meeting, the Royals asserted their dominance on home shale but the visitors struck back with equally devastating strength to keep the pressure on their rivals.
The Cool Running Colts were already without Freddy Hodder and Paul Bowen, with the former taking his driving test and the latter absent due to another prior commitment.
They then suffered a further blow to their ranks with the withdrawal of Luke Muff from the meeting after just two appearances due to injury in Heat 4.
Muff clipped the back wheel of team mate James Pearson and high sided his machine, before being escorted from the track by paramedics for treatment.
Down to five men, the club’s No.8 on the day Chris Watts was given the opportunity to stand in for his injured comrade as well as take a rider replacement ride for Freddy Hodder.
True to type, the Cool Running Colts battled on regardless and managed to keep the scores to within just two points going into Heat 11.
But despite battling their hardest, four consecutive 5-1s from the Royals in Heats 12 through Heat 15 were the four nails in the coffin to seal Belle Vue’s fate at Iwade.
Colts co-boss Graham Goodwin said: “This was a very challenging afternoon for us. The odds were already somewhat against us with being two of our regular riders down.
“Then, things continued to conspire against us with the loss of Luke Muff. It was nothing intentional, he made a good start and just got a bit too close to James Pearson.
“He tried to avoid him and shut off, but the bike high-sided. He wanted to carry on but in the impact he cracked his helmet and we weren’t going to go against the medical advice.
“Apart from that, he’s ok and he stuck around to help the boys out. It was a big ask for the rest of them after that but we kept up the pressure and even at Heat 11 we still believed we could win.
“Unfortunately, things just completely unravelled for us in those last four races and we’re very disappointed about that. We know we can and should have done better than we did.”
The ATPI Aces pick up their home Premiership campaign against the Peterborough Panthers on tomorrow, June 19 at 7:30pm.
Meeting tickets, race day programmes, hospitality and south stand parking are now available to pre-book at bellevue-speedway.com/events.
RESULT – KENT V BELLE VUE – SUNDAY, JUNE 18 @ 12PM [NDL]
Kent Royals 54: Ben Morley 13+1, Nathan Ablitt 13+1, Rhys Naylor 9+3, Tom Woolley 8, Jack Kingston 5+2, Sam Woolley 3+1, Connor King 3
Belle Vue ‘Cool Running’ Colts 36: James Pearson 12, Matt Marson 10, Sam Hagon 6, Jack Smith 4+1, Sam Woods 2+1, Luke Muff 2, Chris Watts (No.8) 0, Freddy Hodder R/R
Image: Ian Charles