There’s a battle of epic proportions brewing in Manchester as Belle Vue prepare to close an incredible 2017 with one final KOC showdown against their fabled rivals Wolverhampton.
Less than two weeks have passed since the Black Country clan inflicted major heartbreak on the Rentruck Aces for a second year running, knocking them out of the grand final by a mere point.
Now both teams are on a mission to claim Knock Out Cup silverware, with the Parrys International Wolves taking a 50-40 victory in the first leg on Tuesday night at Monmore Green.
Team boss Mark Lemon said: “While things didn’t go our way early on, I was really impressed with how the boys regrouped and refocused their efforts to pull things back in the latter stages.
“Like the semi-final, this is only half-time and I believe 10 points is a more than realistic target that this team is capable of recovering and that’s exactly what I’m expecting them to deliver.
“We’ve beaten Wolverhampton by larger margins than this before but there’s no guarantee of anything. We had a tough night at Monmore and it’ll be equally tough in Manchester I’m sure.”
The visitors face a daunting prospect when they return to Manchester where they will encounter a fully pumped-up Belle Vue side who miss only the services of Max Fricke.
Both Jacob Thorssell and Freddie Lindgren remain benched while Kyle Howarth and Rory Schlein are also recently sidelined due to injuries picked up in last week’s Championship Pairs.
Richard Lawson and Scott Nicholls step in for Howarth and Lindgren respectively while Erik Riss, brother of Mark, comes in for the injured Schlein with R/R at No.4 for Thorssell.
Lemon continued: “You have to feel for the Wolves, bringing three guests to a KOC final but we’re not really taking an interest in their game plan because we’ve got our own strategy to master.
“The mood in our camp right now is really good, really positive and the guys are so hungry for silverware. We’ve missed out for the last couple of years now and they really want that trophy.
“We’ve got some chasing to do to pull back the deficit but we’re not throwing in the towel. It may be a pressure cooker environment but we thrive on that pressure and I expect the boys to deliver.”
There’s plenty to look forward to as the season reaches its climax, with both the Premiership Aces and the National League Colts facing a very busy end to their respective 2017 campaigns.
The Cool Running Colts clash with Mildenhall on October 13 in their KOC semi-final, while the ACU British Sidecar Speedway Championship Final graces NSS shale October 14.
The club’s end of season celebration, “The Maugers”, takes place on Saturday October 21. Tickets for all upcoming events are available atwww.bellevueaces.co and on race night.
For bookings for “The Maugers”, contact 0161 711 0828, choosing Option 2.
RESULT – WOLVERHAMPTON V BELLE VUE – TUESDAY OCTOBER 10 [SGBP KOCF L1]
Wolverhampton ‘Parrys International’ Wolves 50
Ricky Wells 13, Nick Morris 10+3, Scott Nicholls 8, Mark Riss 7+2, Sam Masters 7, Nathan Greaves 5+1, Jacob Thorssell R/R
Belle Vue ‘Rentruck’ Aces 40
Kenneth Bjerre 11+1, Craig Cook 10+1, Steve Worrall 6+1, Dan Bewley 6, Rohan Tungate 5+1, Jack Smith 2, Max Fricke R/R
BELLE VUE V WOLVERHAMPTON – 7:30PM – WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 11 [SGBP KOCF L2]
Belle Vue ‘Rentruck’ Aces
Kenneth Bjerre, Steve Worrall, Max Fricke R/R, Rohan Tungate, Craig Cook (C), Dan Bewley, Jack Smith; TM: Mark Lemon
Wolverhampton ‘Parrys International’ Wolves
Scott Nicholls (G), Richard Lawson (G), Erik Riss (G), Jacob Thorssell R/R, Sam Masters, Mark Riss, Nathan Greaves; TM: Peter Adams
Words: Hayley Bromley
Images: Ian Charles