SHEFFIELD drew first blood in the second round of the war of the Roses after defeating Belle Vue 50-40 at Owlerton after a closely contested battle on Thursday night.
The ATPI Aces began their night strongly when, after a 5-1 from the home team in Heat 1, they responded with two consecutive, maximum heat advantages to take the lead.
The TruPlant Tigers then responded to stall proceedings with a rapid succession of shared races and prevented Manchester’s finest from establishing a more comfortable cushion.
They moved to level the scores at 30 apiece after ten heats, and from there the night entered a tense deadlock with neither side able to break away from the other.
It wasn’t until Heat 13 that the ATPI Aces found themselves on the wrong side of a late come-back from the Tigers, despite their best efforts, to seal the win on the night.
Jaimon Lidsey topped the scores for Belle Vue with 10 points while captain Brady Kurtz followed up with 7+1 and Norick Blodorn added a credible 7.
Blodorn said: “Up until Heat 11 we were very much in the mix and though we did fall away in those last three heats, I think we were far more competitive here than we have been before.
“A couple of the boys had some issues and struggled a little bit and had that not been the case, maybe we could’ve held on for the win. It’s unfortunate but it is what it is.
“It’s not a massive disaster for us because we have got quite a commanding position in the table, so we can afford this one blip and we’ll be aiming to set that straight next week.
“I think we were just unlucky in those last few races, as I say. Credit to Sheffield, they put up a very tough fight and it means the return leg in Manchester will be all the more interesting.”
The ATPI Aces take a short break from action next week for the Speedway World Cup, but return home on Monday, July 31 for the concluding leg of the War of the Roses.
Meeting tickets, race day programmes, hospitality and south stand parking are available to pre-book online at bellevue-speedway.com/events.
RESULT – SHEFFIELD V BELLE VUE – THURSDAY, JULY 20 @ 7:30PM [P2]
Sheffield ‘TruPlant’ Tigers 50: Tobiasz Musielak 14, Jack Holder 12+1, Josh Pickering 10, Kyle Howarth 6+3, Adam Ellis 6, Dan Gilkes, Lewis Kerr R/R
Belle Vue ‘ATPI’ Aces 40: Jaimon Lidsey 10, Brady Kurtz 7+1, Norick Blodorn 7, Tom Brennan 6+3, Connor Bailey 4+1, Dan Bewley 3+2, Charles Wright 3+1
Image: Ian Charles