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|Friday 21st October 2016|
Colts Bow Out On Victory
Defeat at the hands of the Birmingham Brummies was not how Belle Vue had hoped the first of their two Friday night meetings would turn out, though the result was not entirely unexpected.
Mechanical problems prevailed in the pits of the Cool Running Colts, afflicting several of their riders and compromising their overall efforts to ultimately secure victory over the league leaders.
The Surestop Brummies meanwhile capitalised on their rivals misfortune and stamped their authority on proceedings almost immediately; leading the meeting by 12 points after Heat 5.
But the home guard refused to surrender without a fight and produced some stunning laps in their fightback, with Matt Williamson and Rob Shuttleworth putting in some very impressive displays.
Tom Woolley & Rob Shuttleworth lead Jack Parkinson-Blackburn (IC)
Despite the valour of all seven, it was not enough to prevent the inevitable, and the Birmingham Brummies finished their half of the night as winners in Manchester to the tune of a 34-56 triumph.
Team manager Graham Goodwin said: “We knew we were up against it with Birmingham. They’re a very strong outfit, and I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see them go on and win the league.
“It’s a tough enough meeting where nobody has any issues but we were just beset by them, and Nathan Greaves in particular had a nightmare. Both of his bikes are gone, plagued with problems.
“Andy Mellish had some clutch problems which is really unusual. The track’s also a little different to how we’d normally like it because it’s had to be prepared for two meetings rather than one.
“Plus with winter coming, it’s retained a lot more moisture than we’re used to and the lads have struggled. But they didn’t complain, they knuckled down to find a solution for the Coventry match.
“Of course the boys were disappointed to lose their penultimate meeting. They’re fighters however and it only made us more determined to win our final match before we close our season here.”
There was no disputing the determination of the Cool Running Colts when they took to the track for the final time in 2016 against the Coventry Storm and secured the victory they’d set out to achieve.
A late change to the Belle Vue line-up saw Birmingham’s Jack Smith step in for Nathan Greaves, who was unable to continue his night following his earlier bike problems against Birmingham.
With a clean slate before them, the home team put their earlier defeat to one side and went on to dominate the City Gearboxes Storm at the National Speedway Stadium, winning 52-37.
Club No.4 Tom Woolley said: “We were disappointed after the Birmingham meeting so of course our determination to finish our campaign with a win was strong, and that’s exactly what we did.
“You can’t underestimate any speedway team. Coventry have got some top riders and they certainly put them to good use ton Friday. Personally I don’t feel my own performance was great.
“It’s a shame the season has to end here really. All the boys have got on so well this year and worked together like a big family. It’s quite emotional because we’ve been through a lot.
“After what happened at the start of the season, we can only be proud of how far we’ve come and not just with respect to the league table. We’ve learned and developed a lot riding for Belle Vue.”
RESULT - FRIDAY OCTOBER 21ST - DOUBLE-HEADER
Belle Vue ‘Cool Running’ Colts 34
Matt Williamson 12, Rob Shuttleworth 8, Nathan Greaves 6, Tom Woolley 4+3, Andy Mellish 4, David Holt 0, Lee Payne R/R
Birmingham ‘Surestop’ Brummies 56
Jack Smith 16+1, Tom Bacon 12, Tom Perry 11+1, Jack Parkinson-Blackburn 8+3, Mitchell Davey 8+1, Lee Geary 1+1, Danyon Hume R/R
Belle Vue ‘Cool Running’ Colts 52
Rob Shuttleworth 13+1, Jack Smith 13, Matt Williamson 12, Andy Mellish 7+3, Tom Woolley 5, David Holt 2+1, Lee Payne R/R
Coventry ‘City Gearboxes’ Storm 37
Mitchell Davey 13, Jack Parkinson-Blackburn 12, Liam Carr 5, Conor Dwyer 3+3, Callum Walker 3, Jamie Halder 1, Ryan Terry-Daley R/R
|Friday 21st October 2016|
7pm Start Tonight
A reminder that tonight's double-header meeting starts at the earlier time of 7pm.
Belle Vue Colts v Birmingham followed by Belle Vue Colts v Coventry.
|Friday 21st October 2016|
Determined Colts Aim For Big Finale
Steve Williams says his side can expect to be tested on Friday when they face off against Coventry and Birmingham, as they bid to find out how far their National League efforts could’ve taken them.
Circumstances beyond their control meant the Cool Running Colts didn’t complete all their fixtures before the end-of-season Play Off deadline, though they are still determined to see them through.
Their victory over King’s Lynn last week had a bittersweet ring to it after coming so close to the top four, but nonetheless Williams says his team can be proud of their debut season achievements.
2016 Belle Vue Colts (IC)
He said: “Without a doubt these guys can be proud! At the start of the year there were a couple of clubs tipped for the top, but I think we’ve proved our worth as one of the strongest teams out there.
“If we’d have managed to get our fixtures in before the cut-off I’ve no doubt we’d have been in the mix for the title. But even finishing fifth, we believe that’s testament to how hard we’ve ridden.
“Individually and collectively, everyone has done their job this year. Now we want to round off the season by delivering the goods in our last double-header, hopefully with a full grandstand to see it.
“We’ve been doing a bit of a campaign on social media with #fillthegrandstand in the hope that people will join us because it’d mean everything to our lads to bow out in front of a big crowd.
“The value for money - at no more than £15 - for thirty heats of speedway is fantastic and with two entertaining meetings on offer I think we can do it, provided people take the time to come down.
“Each and every one of our riders has given everything they could muster to our campaign and we’re very proud of them all, which is why we’d love to see the stadium packed out with fans.”
There’s also the small mater of team planning for 2017, with all of the Cool Running Colts no doubt hoping to make the most of this last chance to impress club bosses before the winter break.
Williams continued: “It means everything to these lads to put on that race jacket and ride for Belle Vue, and win meetings but they won’t be judged on only the result of Friday night’s proceedings.
“Team building for next year isn’t something we’ve discussed at the present time but if it was possible to bring all of them back we would do; unfortunately speedway doesn’t work that way.
“This team has put everything into their performance all season. Their spirit has been absolutely second to none, and the passion they have riding for this club has really shone through.”
|Thursday 20th October 2016|
2016 Peter Craven Memorial Trophy
Belle Vue Speedway have made the decision to announce that the 2016 Peter Craven Memorial Trophy will not be run this season.
Tickets purchased for this event – which have not already been exchanged or refunded – will be valid for the re-staging in 2017, date to be confirmed, or any other 2017 Belle Vue Speedway meeting.
Customers still wishing to request a refund may do so by returning their unwanted tickets to the stadium at the following address:
The National Speedway Stadium
|Wednesday 19th October 2016|
Carswell Issues Rallying Call
With their season drawing to a close, co-promoter George Carswell is calling for fans to “fill the grandstand” as the Belle Vue Colts prepare for one final appearance before the winter sets in.
Despite just missing out on Play Off qualification, the Aces’ more junior counterparts have made quite the triumphant return to British Speedway’s third tier after an absence of nearly five years.
Club No.5 Dan Bewley and heat leader Lee Payne will unfortunately miss both meetings, the former due to ongoing injury concerns with a concussion and the latter due to a pre-booked family holiday.
The Cool Running Colts will operate the Rider Replacement facility for Payne at No.3, while the Guest facility will be implemented for Bewley. Nathan Greaves is the man who receives the call up.
In similar fashion, the Brummies will also be tracking a guest – Mitchell Davey – at No.1 for injury victim Zach Wajtknecht while Rider Replacement will be in effect at No.2 for Danyon Hume.
The Coventry Storm meanwhile have called on Jack Parkinson-Blackburn as their Guest at No.4 in place of the injured Dan Greenwood, with R/R for Ryan Terry-Daley who’s returned to New Zealand.
George Carswell chats to Colts reserves David Holt & Andy Mellish (CS)
With a calibre of racing equal to that of the Elite League, Carswell states there can be no better way to draw the curtain on a successful debut season than by celebrating with the Belle Vue fans.
He said: “It’s our last chance this season to see speedway in Manchester so it’s an excellent time – for anyone who’s not seen the Colts in particular – to come down and enjoy a night of racing.
“We’ve 30 heats of speedway on offer against two very exciting teams, Birmingham and Coventry. It will be an extremely entertaining evening and one which we are very much looking forward to.
“Anyone who has attended National League meetings this year will tell you that the racing is as good – if not, better – than that in the Elite League. These boys battle hard for every point they earn.
“For a first-year team, we’ve done remarkably well. Despite not completing all our fixtures on time we finished just outside of Play Off qualification which is a remarkable achievement in my opinion.
“The teams that finished above us are the stand-alone teams who are much stronger, and included in their number is Birmingham. Being top of the league, they present their own unique challenge.
“They’ve been virtually undefeated all year and racked up some massive scores; basically, demolishing most teams who race them. They’re responsible for knocking us out of the KOC!
“So we’re very eager to have another crack at them. Coventry however are a completely different kettle of fish. Though they’re not one of the high-ranking teams they do have some excellent riders.
“They saw us off at Brandon just recently which was a bit of a wake-up call for us, and there’s nothing to suggest they won’t do the same on Friday! They’re not a team to be sniffed at.
“Both teams will I’m sure cause us some problems but we have a determined bunch of lads who are more than capable of winning both of these meetings, and they’ll do everything they can to deliver.”
TEAMS – FRIDAY OCTOBER 21ST – DOUBLE-HEADER
Belle Vue ‘Cool Running’ Colts
Matt Williamson (C); Tom Woolley; Lee Payne R/R; Rob Shuttleworth; Nathan Greaves (G); David Holt; Andy Mellish; No.8 Joe Lawlor
Team Managers: Stephen Williams & Graham Goodwin
Birmingham ‘Surestop’ Brummies
Mitchell Davey (G); Danyon Hume R/R; Darryl Ritchings; Tom Bacon; Tom Perry (C); Jack Smith; Jack Parkinson-Blackburn
Team Manager: Graham Drury
Coventry ‘City Gearboxes’ Storm
Mitchell Davey; Ryan Terry-Daley R/R;Conor Dwyer; Jack Parkinson-Blackburn (G); Liam Carr (C); Callum Walker; Jamie Halder
Team Manager: Laurence Rogers
|Tuesday 18th October 2016|
Mellish: 'A Year To Be Proud Of!'
Club reserve Andy Mellish has echoed captain Matt Williamson’s determination to round off their season in a blaze of glory when the Cool Running Colts tackle Birmingham and Coventry on Friday.
League leaders the Surestop Brummies will take the lead on the night, kicking off the action at 7pm while the City Gearboxes Storm will follow up in the second half of this final, pre-winter sizzler.
In particular, it’s a case of settling unfinished business with the Coventry boys after they recently hammered their northern rivals 51-39 during their clash at Brandon Stadium on September 16.
The Midlanders have endured a nightmarish season in many respects, from dwindling crowd numbers to a less-than-auspicious Third Tier ranking. They currently rank 10th in the standings.
Adding insult to injury, their team have not raced together in over a month. Their last appearance was September 18 at Eastbourne where they were unceremoniously defeated 54-36 by the Eagles.
It does bring into consideration the notion of race-rustiness, though the Belle Vue boys have never been known to underestimate their opponents no matter how fresh their campaign may still be.
Andy Mellish (CDS)
Mellish said: “It’ll be tough, there’s no doubt about it. With Birmingham you’re faced with perhaps the hardest team in the league while with Coventry maybe not quite as tough, but still very feisty.
“We know the Brummies quite like our track, given the result they got here last time but the Storm are still relatively unknown quantities here; Even at this stage, this is a circuit they’ve yet to visit!
“But we won’t be underestimating either of these teams. Coventry haven’t had the greatest year but they did a number on us at Brandon and so of course we’re up for returning the favour on Friday.
“That was a very important weekend for us. That night in September, we were the second of a double-header that began with the Coventry Bees and admittedly that was my first look at Brandon.
“It was a disappointing result because we didn’t necessarily ride bad. It perhaps just took us a while to get going as we were certainly stronger towards the end of the meeting than we were initially.
“By then the damage was done which is why, as I mentioned, we’re keen to put right our mistakes. Friday’s a big night for the team. We want to win both meetings and put on a show for the fans.
“All seven of us have been lucky to be with the Colts this year. We’ve not taken that for granted. The fans have been fantastic and to finish on a high would be our way of giving something back to them.”