Peter Brads SPORTS Blog: Below Average Sportscast Episode #22 Brads SPORTS Blog: Below Average Sportscast Episode #22: his post Create

This edition is WORLD CUP HEAVY! with Scuttsy and I discussing the sporting news in our own unique way as we chat CRICKET of the ENGLAND & Lancashire Lightning variety! Also we touch on speedway too! 


SPEEDWAY: Red Hot Robins Go Bob Bob Bobbin Along!


Monday Night saw the home record of the Belle Vue Aces go up in smoke up as they were deservedly beaten by their inform opponents in the Swindon Robins. Victory for the Wiltshire side saw them all take all points on offer from the meeting with some of the big hitting Aces riders not firing at all and in the process saw the Robins make it three straight wins in a row in the league and stay unbeaten against Belle Vue this year.
Belle Vue saw their usual top riders barring Captain Scott Nicholls all having poor nights as the top heat leaders for the Robins saw them both notch up double figure scores compared to their opponents who saw former Swindon man and Slovenian Grand Prix rider Matej Zagar, scoring just 6 points in the meeting with the normally reliable Craig Cook struggling himself, with the Cumbrian man making just 5+1 compared to the Swindon heat leaders and that was the deciding factor.
Swindon started as they meant to go on when the Robins opening pairing of Peter Kildemand and Dakota North both forced former Swindon man Matej Zagar out towards the fence and in effect saw them take out the danger man. Michael Palm Toft did manage to move into second place, but it saw Zagar trailing a fair distance away behind the field and saw Swindon score a 4-2 heat win.
The visitors increased their lead when Aussie duo Troy Batchelor and Nick Morris jumped out on a 5-1 and despite Scott Nicholls chasing down his opponents the Aces captain was able to only split the pair for another 4-2.
Another 4-2 heat advantage for Swindon saw them taking over the meeting and had the home side in trouble after just four heats of the match gone.
Matej Zagar once again got shoved out wide towards the air fence for the hosts and had Craig Cook who had the outside gate saw him take full advantage of the extra dirt off it and Cook got out ahead of Nick Morris and Simon Gustafsson, to see him lead and on the final lap had Zagar battle with Morris for third place.
With the home side looking like they was making a comeback in the meeting, it saw Simon Gustafsson and Nathan Greaves take yet another 4-2 heat win for the Robins, before Belle Vue responded with a 4-2 of their own in the following race through Nicholls and Richie Worrall.

Heat 9 saw the second reserves races of the night and had Lee Payne fall off on the second bend of the second lap as the visitors picked up the race win with the referee awarding the race and had Steve Worrall and Nathan Greaves help the Robins to a heat victory with the score moving to 30-24 in favor of the away side.
Belle Vue then had three heat winners with Matej Zagar and Michael Palm Toft, before Scott Nicholls team rode with Craig Cook to pick up a 5-1 and put them within two of the Swindon lead and made it an interesting final four races in the match.
Belle Vue`s Danish born duo of Palm Toft and Stefan Nielsen saw the two Aces riders make a 4-2 which had the scores level and was hopefully the springboard needed to kick the Aces into gear at the vital stage of the meeting`s crunch point. Sadly though it saw Peter Kildemand and Troy Batchelor pick up the heat advantage with the top home riders looking unable to deal with the Swindon riders.

In the penultimate race of the night, it saw Swindon all but sew up the win with another 4-2 victory as Steve Worrall took the race win ahead of the Belle Vue reserve Stefan Nielsen and Worrall`s team mate Simon Gustafsson easing to a third place to see the scoreline move to 44-40 to the away side with one race left to go.
With the meeting in the dying embers it saw the Aces needing a 5-1 to draw the match and had the home side with the best gates for the important final race of the night. Unfortunately for the Aces faithful it saw the home side fall apart with Batchelor and Kildemand making the quicker start from the gatea and they never looked back at all with Zagar giving up at the back .
Nicholls tried his best to get by the Robins pair, but for some fantastic team riding by the Swindon pair making it impossible to pass for the Belle Vue captain and saw the away side score the big 5-1 and had them help themselves to a well deserved 4 point haul in the meeting and condemn the Aces to yet another defeat and more importantly, end the playoff hopes of the home side with a battle against the Leicester Lions for the wooden spoon looking likely after the World Cup break.

Belle Vue = 41 

1. Matej Zagar 0, 1, 3, 2, R = 6
2. Michael Palm Toft 2, 2, 0, 3 = 7
3. Scott Nicholls 2, 3, 3, 3, 1 = 12
4. Richie Worrall 2, 0, 1, 0 = 3
5. Craig Cook 0, 3, 2′, 0 = 5+1
6. Stefan Nielsen 3, 0, 2, 1, 2 = 8
7. Lee Payne 0, 0, Fx = 0

Swindon = 49 

1. Peter Kildemand 3, 1′, 1, 3, 2′ = 10+2
2. Dakota North 1, 3, 2, 0 = 6
3. Nick Morris 1, 0, 0, 1′ = 2+1
4. Simon Gustafsson 2, 3, 0, 1 = 6
5. Troy Batchelor 3, 2, 2, 1, 3 = 11 
6. Nathan Greaves 1′, 1, 1 = 3+1
7. Steve Worrall 2, 1, 3, 2, 3 = 11

Aces win toss and take 1 and 3

CRICKET: Prince & Brown clip the Falcons wings

Lancashire Lightning    225 -7       Derbyshire Falcons 190 – 7     

Lancashire Lightning won by 35 runs 

Lancashire Lightning cemented their place as winners of the Natwest t20 Blast North section Friday night with a victory over the bottom of the table Derbyshire Falcons, thanks mainly to the home side batting display with Ashwell Prince and Karl Brown both scoring their respective fifties.
The win also saw Andrew ‘Freddie’ Flintoff omitted from the squad for the Derbyshire game after he was ruled out with a slight Calf strain picked up in training and so was replaced in line up by bowler Wayne White.
As it happened the Lightning needn’t have worried about missing their returning star in the squad, as the Batsmen in the Red Rose side more than made up for it scoring their second highest score at the Emirates Old Trafford in t20 history as they notched up 225 for 7 in their innings.
Lancashire won the toss and chosen to unsurprising bat first on what looked like a very good batting surface, especially with the exceptionally hot weather that was being experienced up and down the UK.
It saw the openers in Tom Smith and Ashwell Prince unable to get going in the first over of the match, but then once they did find their groove it became carnage from a Derbyshire viewpoint.
Tom Smith struck three fours in the second over with two coming back to back, unfortunately for the Lancashire man his intended big six off the last ball of the over saw his shot gathered by Greg Cork the son of former player at both Lancashire and Derbyshire in Dominic Cork.
Karl Brown came to the crease and saw him and Prince take it to the Derbyshire attack in buckets as the visitors were blown away by the top order batsman in the Lightning`s innings. Both players started to motor along and saw the home side reach 50 after the Fifth over of play and with massive gaps in the Falcons field, along with some poor bowling to boot.
It saw Karl Brown hitting the bowlers all over the ground, while his partner down the other end in Ashwell Prince had him smashing the ball for sixes and saw some better fielding in the crowd than some on the pitch.
With the Lightning racing along towards three figures, it saw Prince smash another six into the stands to bring up his half century. Sadly he departed soon after for (56) just shortly after the home side brought up their hundred on the scoreboard.
Prince got out when he attempted another big shot and was only able to find the man near the ropes with Marcus North picking up a wicket thanks to Wes Durston taking the catch.
Derbyshire Falcons players enjoyed a brief moment of joy, as after they got the big hitter out in Prince they had to deal with another big hitter in Jos Buttler, as the home side wanted to make a statement and they did more than that. 
With Buttler on strike facing his second ball of his innings he proceeded to make the Falcons bowlers toil hitting two fours to the boundary and then smashed a six and four in consecutive balls, to see the runs pile on for the Lightning as they were closing in quick on 150.
Karl Brown brought up his half century with a single at the end of the Thirteenth over, to see him get it in 30 balls and then saw the hosts bring up 152 on the scoreboard with the batsmen running quickly between the wickets.
Brown`s innings then came to a close after he struck a monster six that bounced off the big red Point building and straight to the field down at deep third man. The next ball then saw him attempt another big hit, but instead found Durston once more open in the field to see a similar result to Prince as Karl Brown walked off to a massive ovation from the big crowd in the ground with the Lightning man making (58).
Steven Croft then came out and saw his first ball go for four, before then being run out the very next ball off some good fielding by Wayne Madsen to see him head back for (4).
Jos Buttler was carrying on about his business before a shot went skywards and was taken by Billy Godleman off the bowling of Ben Cotton in which he finished with 1 for 49 in his four overs. 
Lancashire then saw their hopes of hitting 200 faltering a bit with quick wickets falling quickly after Buttler was out for (39), it saw Wayne White out for (3) and then Aaron Lilley out for a duck which saw Jordan Clark and Captain Paul Horton see out the final three overs.
The two Lightning men pushed them past 200 and close to 230 as they fell short by five runs as they closed on 225 for the loss of seven wickets.
Derbyshire were set a record target of 226 as the hosts run rate was 11.25 meaning it was going to take a colossal effort to see the Falcons win or even get close to that total in fairness, however they got a good start from Wes Durston and Aussie Marcus North as they reached the fifth over of their innings making 50 for no wicket at a rate of 10 runs an over.
Lancashire needed someone to step forward and help break the partnership of the Derbyshire pair and it was star man in most of the victories for the Lightning`s this year, in Pakistan fast bowler Junaid Khan.
This match was the last one he was able to play in for Lancashire before he heads off to Sri Lanka for Pakistan`s upcoming tour there. Some good bowling from Khan saw Durston hit it up and straight down the throat of Wayne White to see him out for a good knock of (30).
Former Lancashire player Gareth Cross returned for the first time since he left in the winter and saw him make (17) before Tom Smith ran him out with a direct hit that saw the Falcons on 83 for 2.
Marcus North was next to go the visitors when Steven Croft trapped him lbw for 41, Wayne Madsen and Billy Godleman then put on a partnership of 41 for the fourth wicket with the Falcons run rate beginning to slow down a tad. Godleman was then given out for (10) as Aaron Liley got him out lbw and saw the Falcons 142 for 4, with 84 runs needed from their remaining five overs.
There hopes started to shorten more, when Madsen went off the last ball of the sixteenth over for (45), with Tom Smith giving White his first wicket of the innings. 
Derbyshire`s run rate was suffering with their known batsmen getting out and despite being bottom of the table they were putting up a great fight to stay in the contest and saw their spirit unable to wilt despite wickets falling throughout.
Junaid Khan clean bowled Alex Hughes for (17) and the Lightning now was sniffing victory well and truly, with the equation for the Falcons needing 56 runs from the remaining 15 balls.
The bowlers in the last few overs had done their job as they restricted the away side to singles or two`s and avoided them getting boundaries or sixes towards the crunch period. 
David Wainwright lasted four balls as he made (2), before White bowled him for his second wicket of the game and had Lancashire now just enjoying themselves for the final over which saw Khan bowl his final over in Lightning`s colours this season and was unable to pick up a wicket in the final over and saw the Falcons finish on 190 for 7.
That score was the highest by an opponent against the hosts this season at home and saw them make a match of it when they could have simply just rolled over from the big total they had to chase.
Lancashire finish off their group next Thursday at the Emirates Old Trafford when they take on the Durham Jets and hope to have Andrew Flintoff back for the final game in the group stage, in what they hope will be a big crowd to too in finishing top.

Lancashire Innings225 for 7 (20.0 overs)

Runs Minutes Balls 4s 6s
Smith c Cork b Turner 13 6 10 3 0
Prince c Durston b North 56 36 29 5 4
Brown c Durston b Cork 58 47 34 4 3
Buttler c Godleman b Cotton 39 27 23 4 1
Croft run out (Madsen) 4 2 1 0
Clark not out 17 24 12 2 0
White c A Hughes b Turner 3 3 3 0 0
Lilley c North b Turner 0 2 1 0 0
Horton not out 24 9 7 0 3
Extras 2nb 8w 0b 1lb 11
Total for 7 (20.0 ovs) 225

Derbyshire Innings190 for 7 (20.0 overs)

Runs Minutes Balls 4s 6s
Durston c White b Khan 30 21 20 2 3
North lbw b Croft 41 42 30 3 1
Cross run out (Smith) 17 11 10 2 1
Madsen c Smith b White 45 28 25 4 1
Godleman lbw b Lilley 10 13 9 1 0
A Hughes b Khan 17 12 9 1 1
Knight not out 8 19 8 0 0
Wainwright b White 2 4 3 0 0
Cork not out 13 7 8 1 0
Extras 4nb 2w 0b 1lb 7
Total for 7 (20.0 ovs) 190

SPEEDWAY: Craig COOKS up success over the Wolves!


Craig Cook helped inspire the Belle Vue Aces to a big win on Wednesday evening as the Cumbrian rider top scored with 12 points in the Aces win over the Wolverhampton Wolves 55-38 at Kirkmanshulme lane.
Matej Zagar and Michael Palm Toft picked up a 4-2 in the opening heat of the meeting as the Belle Vue riders were split by guest rider in the Wolves ranks,  in Chris Harris as the Coventry Bees rider came in for the ill World Champion of Tai Woffinden.


The reserves race saw Stefan Nielsen leading the race with ease, before he then took a wider line on the 2nd bend and caught the air fence leading to the home rider coming off and led to a re run.

In the re run of the heat two, a majority thought it would be a routine 5-1 for the visiting side as Aces reserve Lee Payne had struggled to get in around the points of late and much to the shock of a few, Payne managed to claim second place and saw Wolves get a 4-2 instead, with Lee Payne managing to get a good gate and then followed Tom Perry round to see the Stoke Potter split the Wolves pair.
Craig Cook and Scott Nicholls then picked up the first maximum for the hosts in the meeting as they raced off with a 5-1 that was then followed up with a 4-2, when Stefan Nielsen took the race win with his team mate Ritchie Worrall finishing in third.
Cook was it again soon after, as he and Zagar rode a team race which saw the Slovenian gp man shepherding his partner round for an easy 5-1 for the Aces and have the score 20-10.

Wolverhampton team boss Pete Adams was quick to try to stem the advantage going to far ahead and so nominated Chris Harris as a tactical ride in the next race.

Harris had the most favored gate 4 in the race as that gate is beyond a massive advantage when on it. The Coventry man made a jet propelled start off it and made full use of the grip off the starting gate and saw him blast ahead and saw the Wolves get out on a 8-1 temporarily, before Scott Nicholls then managed to move into second place but couldn’t see him track down Harris and so it saw Wolves gain a 7-2 with Piotr Pawlicki in third and Harris score six points.

Wolves then pulled it back to one point, after Ricky Wells and Joe Jacobs scored a 5-1 with Michael Palm Toft falling off on the 3rd bend and found Lee Payne once more on his own, only this time round he was helpless to do anything and have the score move to 23-22 to the hosts.
Heat 8 saw Nicholls and Worrall score a reversal of that heat score as Nicholls guided his team mate to victory.
The second reserves race of the meeting saw a 5-1 to the Aces and a surprise win for Lee Payne who won his first Elite league race after he made a blinding start and managed to ride a good line round for the whole race to see a maximum win for the hosts.


Three successive 4-2’s for the Aces then put them in an even more commanding position and seen the score 45-30 to the home side, with the meeting won it was now a case of turning the screw on their foes.

Heat 12 saw one of the races of the night as between Nielsen, Proctor and Palm Toft, it saw the lead changing a few times with Nielsen leading the race up until Wolverhampton rider Ty Proctor made a move on him and then saw Palm Toft race him hard , but he pushed him wide and move right out across him to block his charge and take the win.

Craig Cook and Matej Zagar then scored another 5-1 in heat 13 in which they beat Harris and Pawlicki, with Zagar making a hard but fair move on the Polish rider to see him taken wide and let Zagar come up the inside into second and see the home fans cheer their riders to victory.
Ricky Wells then collected his second race win of the night for the away side, as he passed Ritchie Worrall to see the Wolves man hold off Worrall for the win.

The final race of the night saw Chris Harris out pace Craig Cook, as the Cornishman took the win with Pawlicki finishing in third to see a Wolves 4-2 and finish on a high note despite it counting for nothing and see Belle Vue avenge their loss on the Monday night at Monmore Green in the away fixture.

Belle Vue = 55

1. Matej Zagar 3, 2′, 3, 2′ = 10+2
2. Michael Palm Toft 1, Fx, 1, 3 = 5
3. Scott Nicholls 2′, 2, 2′, 3, 0 = 9+2
4. Richie Worrall 1, 0, 3, 2 = 6
5. Craig Cook 3, 3, 1, 3, 2 = 12
6. Stefan Nielsen Fx, 3, 2′, 1 = 6+1
7. Lee Payne 2, 1, 3, 1′ = 7+1

Wolverhampton = 38

1. Chris Harris (G) 2, 6!, 2, 0, 1 = 11
2. Ty Proctor 0, 2, 0, 2 = 4
3. Jacob Thorssell 0, 1, 1, 0 = 2
4. Ricky Wells 0, 3, 0, 3 = 6
5. Piotr Pawlicki 1, 1, 2, 1, 3 = 8
6. Joe Jacobs 1, 2′, 1, 0 = 4+1
7. Tom Perry 3, 0, 0, 0 = 3

Wolves win toss take 1 and 3

Elite League points: Belle Vue 3 Wolverhampton 0

Sledge hockey: Phoenix gain revenge on the Devils

Altrincham Ice dome

MANCHESTER PHOENIX   S.H.C             3            –            2    CARDIFF DEVIL S.H.C
Booth    15`                                                                                                               Willey 29`
Nicholson  30`                                                                                                           Furbur 35`
Allen  38`
Manchester Phoenix sledge hockey team gained a matter of revenge on their conquerors last weekend as they beat the Cardiff Devils 3-2 in a thriller at the Altrincham ice dome. 
The contest saw a physically bruising encounter between the sides with the knowledge that a win for either side would see them go level on points with the leaders at top of the table.
   Cardiff had the momentum going into the game after they defeated Manchester last week down at Cardiff Bay, where the Welsh side won 5-2 and so clearly had their tails up rolling into Altrincham.
The game started off with the visitors in the ascendency as they carried on their form from the previous game, which saw the Devils test Phoenix netminder Steve Midghall as his glove got warmed up by the opponents.
Manchester did have a couple of efforts but saw Cardiff’s goaltender in Hannah O’Connor making a couple of good stops to see the goalies both getting tested early on.
Play in the first half of the period saw the visitors have opportunities to take the lead and midway through the first it saw them come all so close.
It seen panic set in for the Phoenix  after the puck was sent to the back post for a great chance for the Devils, but the puck just evaded the forward and let the home side off well truly as it was a chance that went begging.
This seemed to kick start the hosts into action and saw them finally manage to force their way back in the contest, with the home side pressuring the Welsh sides defence and led to a great chance for Anthony Booth.
It saw Karl Nicholson chase a loose puck by the boards behind the Devils net and an attempted clearance by Jason Weaver saw him sweep straight to Booth whose effort was stopped by O’ Connor, as well as her team mate to see the score remain 0-0.

Manchester then had a lapse of concentration towards the end of the period and saw veteran forward for the Cardiff Devils in Russell Willey shoot wide of the target and let the home side off as the opening period ended scoreless.

Devils netminder Hannah O `Connor stops Anthony Booth with help from Stephen Thomas

In the second period it saw the Phoenix completely dominate the period as they had the Devils on the ropes for a majority of it.
The game saw it’s opening goal as Manchester’s star forward Karl Nicholson made one of his trademark dashes up ice, before he held play up and then fed his GB colleague in Anthony Booth and had Booth squeeze the puck under the Devils netminder for a 1-0 lead at 15.57 in the game.
Phoenix was controlling the play and saw them go close on a couple of occasions, firstly Booth had a chance that saw his effort well smothered by O’Connor and then Nicholson found himself slaloming his way through the Cardiff defence and when one on one with the goalie he lifted it too high and let the away side off once again.
Both sides were getting physical and that was obvious to see from the stands as the hits were getting harder and some of them were missing along the boards with both sets of players trying to get an advantage, on a couple of occasions it saw the teams pushing and shoving with a few verbals being exchanged towards each other with players bumping the goalie looking for rebounds and showing their passion.
Cardiff had a few chances in the middle stanza, as it saw them have a few attempts on goal but nothing that was too troubling for Midghall to be worried by as most of the shots ended up being off target and hitting the boards behind the net more than actual goals. 
Manchester was creating a few attacks in final minutes of play and had former GB man Scott Turner doing a good job in defense for the Devils side as he was all over the place, as they defended well to restrict the home side from notching up any more goals in the period.
 Phoenix`s Karl Nicholson battles along boards with Cardiff`s Alex Weaver

Then with 0.01 left to go in the period a long range shot by Russell Willey saw his shot bounce off the inside of the post and fall near the goal line to which the referee had deemed the puck had crossed the line and had a few displeased Phoenix players and fans in the stand over it.

Willey goal was timed at 29.59 with an assist going to Paul Furber and saw the Devils tie things up at 1-1 heading into the final period.

In the third it saw the home side strike back straight away, it saw Anthony Booth bank the puck along the boards for Karl Nicholson to go up the ice and at 30.09 the forward found the net, beating O`Connor at her far post to see the Phoenix regain the lead and see Manchester now looking to kick on from that point. The hits became more physical on both sides with them looking to find an advantage as the next goal would be vital you felt in a game such as this.

With both sides testing the keepers out it was becoming level once more and saw the Devils equalise for the second time in the game through a Paul Furber effort, as his shot beat Midghall`s from the right hand face-off circle to see the Welsh side make it 2-2 with Alex Weaver getting an assist on the goal.

The remainder of the game saw the hitting intensify and saw some needle between the teams with neither wanting to concede a goal, as it had a feel of an overtime type game with the next goal looking certain to be the game winner in this tightly and hard fought contest.
Cardiff had their chances to take the game, but Manchester had Steve Midghall to thanks as he made a couple of good stops to see the score remain at 2-2. The hosts had their own opportunities too as they went close but they came up against a brick wall in O`Connor as the netminder`s when called upon answered the call for their side.
With the time ticking down it saw the games only two penalties called within a minute of each other and both going against the visitors. Firstly Tim James collected a Teeing penalty at 36.50 and then Stephen Thomas saw him pick up a 2 minute call for Elbowing on Nicholson at 37.36 with the Devils players ruled to have caught him with an elbow behind the Phoenix nets.

From the resulting powerplay for the home side it saw them unable to convert with the two man advantage, but just as the penalty expired on James it saw Nicholson slalom his way over the blue line, before then passing out wide to the incoming Rob Allen and the Manchester man fired past O`Connor to see the Phoenix lead 3-2 and have the home side and fans celebrate the goal at 38-55.

Cardiff looked devastated and at the same time miffed over the penalty decisions that Referee Whittle had given against them in the lead up to the goal. Manchester was looking a bit desperate in parts at defending and needed some last ditch defending to see the home team snuff out any chances that the Devils created late on, as the in the final forty seconds of the game it saw the visitors pull the netminder for the extra   attacker.
Manchester was desperately trying to clear their lines and get the puck out of their zone, but could only clear it as far as to a red shirt and saw the Devils try as they might, unable to score and Manchester held on for a huge win against a very tough and talented Cardiff side, to see the Phoenix move level on points with the joint leaders in the Peterborough Phantoms and their next opponents they face in the Kingston Kestrels.
Both sides put on a terrific game of sledge hockey for the fans that turned up and saw the Devils come away with mixed feelings as they put in a fantastic display to match the Phoenix in long parts, but the result wasn`t what they were looking for so the Welsh side will be disappointed but happy with their performance. 

For Manchester it was massive boost for them as they avenged their loss to the Devils from the previous week and now sees them face the tough task of playing the current team in first place at the moment of this blog, in the Kingston Kestrels at Altrincham early next month.

Kim McGreal blog:

SPEEDWAY: Pirates made to walk the Aces Plank!



Belle Vue kept their feint playoff hopes alive with a demolition job of the reigning league champions the Poole Pirates at Kirkmanshulme Lane Monday Night, as the Aces gave the south coast side a champion like beating with the home side firing on all cylinders in the meeting and was led by the British GP Wildcard entry for this weekend Grand prix at the Millenium Stadiun in Cardiff in Craig Cook. The Cumbrian man top scored with 11+1 to help his side to victory.
The opening race saw Poole’s Australian rider Darcy Ward take the race win as he was put under pressure by Matej Zagar for the full four laps, but saw Ward managed to hold on to lead and beat a fellow GP rider in the process.
  Belle Vue welcomed back reserve Stefan Nielsen from his recent injury and saw the Danish born rider win the first reserves race of the meeting, ahead of the Pirates duo of Ben Hopwood and Adam Ellis to see another shared heat and keep the score level.
Maciej Janowski and Scott Nicholls then had battle in heat 3 which saw Janowski made to work for his race win and saw the sides level still as Cook held third place. Poole’s Josh Grajczonek then took an easy win in heat 4 to see the score move onto 12 all and in Heat 5 finally we saw the deadlock broken, with Craig Cook and Matej Zagar scoring a massive 5-1 over Poole`s Polish riders Przemyslaw Pawlicki and Vaclav Milik, as the Slovenian swooped by Milik to see him join his team mate at the front and ride onto victory.
Scott Nicholls then rode a brilliant captains race, when the Belle Vue man came under stern pressure from Darcy Ward and Maciej Janowski and saw Ward who was getting a lot of speed down the straights become a cropper on the end of lap 2, as the Pirates number one took a fall on the third and fourth bend to see him come off and hit the air fence pretty hard and saw him excluded from the re-run.
   Nicholls and guesting for the Aces in place of Richie Worrall who is nursing a broken bone in his foot, saw Edinburgh Monarchs rider Max Fricke pick up a third place finish for 4-2 heat advantage and see the Aces increase their lead to six points after 6 heats gone in the contest.
Vaclav Milik then popped out of the outside gate, which has been ridiculously advantageous to every rider that has come off the golden gate 4 this season and saw Milik do what many riders have done and that was take the race win ahead of Dane Michael Palm Toft and Lee Payne, with the home riders packing the minor places to avoid the visitors clawing back any points back.
  Heat 8 saw a shock winner in guest rider Max Fricke with the 18 year old Aussie fly out of the gate and do well to hold off the strong Poole riders in Pawlicki and former Aces rider and Tameside-based Josh Grajczonek.
In the second reserves race of the meeting it saw the home side picking up a 5-1 heat victory after guest for the Pirates in Adam Ellis, saw him falling off in the original race and getting excluded. Heat 9 was re run and saw Stefan Nielsen show his liking to the Belle Vue circuit more and more as he took the win ahead of team mate Lee Payne to secure another maximum race win for the home side and move the score onto 32-22.
  Poole Pirates team manager Neil Middleditch then put the Black & White helmet colour on Pawlicki, as he came in out as tactical going for double points in the following race. For a part of the race it seemed like Poole were going to pick up a 7-2 race advantage, but Matej Zagar had other ideas and swooped right round Pawlicki by the fence to use the extra dirt line to fire him by the Pole and take victory.
It meant the Pirates had to settle for a 5-3 with Zagar finishing first and the Pirates packing the minor places as Pawlicki scored 4 points instead of the 6 Poole wanted. Vaclav Milik took his second race win of the night, after he came off the superior gate four in which propelled him to victory and had Scott Nicholls and Craig Cook chasing shadows as the Pirates rider came up big for the win for his team.
  Belle Vue increased their lead with a Danish feel about it, with Nielsen and Palm-Toft finishing ahead of Adam Ellis to pick up a 5-1 and secure the meeting as Josh Grajczonek bike packed up on the starting gate and saw the Pirates in trouble.
Heat 13 saw the traditional big guns come out for both side and seen the hometown Aces bang in another 5-1 through Cook and Zagar, with the home side riding away to victory with Ward not looking himself since his fall in heat 6 after he took a heavy bang into the air fence.
  Vaclav Milik once more won his heat, but Fricke made him work for it as the young Aussie got out of the tapes quicker than that of the Poole rider, but saw Milik come up the inside of him on the back straight to move into first and held back the challenge of the guest to see the Pirates get a 4-2 with Ben Hopwood coming third ahead of Lee Payne.
Heat 15 saw the nominated race and for the Aces it was Craig Cook and Scott Nicholls up against the Poole pairing of Milik and Pawlicki. Poole was racing for pride now and was hoping to end the meeting on a high with the Aces out trumping them in the match. It saw the race stopped on three occasions, all due to first bend bunching and on each occasion it saw Milik coming off the bike.
  When the race did eventually get going, it saw Cook get out ahead of Pawlicki and saw the Pole trying to get near to the Cumbrian man, but Cook just knew the right lines to be riding on and saw him finish first ahead of the Pirates man, while Nicholls came third for a 4-2 heat advantage and see the final score 54-38 in favour of the Aces and take some confidence to into their return fixture two days later down on the South coast at Wimbourne Road.

Belle Vue = 54 

1. Matej Zagar – 2, 2*, 3, 2* = 9+2
2. Michael Palm Toft – 1*, 2, 0, 3 = 6+1
3. Scott Nicholls – 2, 3, R, 2, 1 = 8
4. Max Fricke (G) 2, 1, 3, 2 = 8
5. Craig Cook – 1, 3, 1*, 3, 3 = 11+1
6. Stefan Nielsen – 3, 1*, 3, 2* = 9+2
7. Lee Payne – 0, 1*, 2*, 0 = 3+2

Poole = 38 

1. Darcy Ward – 3, Ex, 0, 1 =4
2. Josh Grajczonek – 0, 3, 1*, R = 4+1
3. Przemyslaw Pawlicki – 0, 1, 2, 4, 2 = 9
4. Vaclav Milik – 0, 3, 3, 3, 0 = 9
5. Maciej Janowski – 3, 2, 1, 0 = 6
6. Ben Hopwood -2, 0, 1 = 3
7. Adam Ellis (G)- 1*, 0, Ex, 1, 1 = 3+1


Belle Vue Thrash Crisis Club Brummies



BELLE VUE  ACES      56 – 39  

Belle Vue picked up their first win in 11 matches Monday night, as they beat a weakened Birmingham Brummies side 56-39 in what could turn out to be a mixed result for the Manchester outfit, with a meeting over the next couple of days to take place over the future of the Birmingham side. Ironically the Aces last victory in the league came against Birmingham, back on May 19th.  



It was a fairly strange atmosphere at Kirkmanshulme lane, as the Brummies who have struggled with thing both on and track this season are a real club in deep turmoil.

   Birmingham have been dogged with problems over promoters changing, riders signing and then messing them around, previous owners not being paid and running up debts and also a big factor crowds has seen low crowds at Perry Bar this year too.



The visitors main threat in their side was posed in Ben Barker and saw him lead the opening race of the meeting as he led from start to almost finish, till a mistake on the final bend let Belle Vue`s GP star Matej Zagar roar up the inside going to the line and nipped ahead of the Cornishman to take the race win.

   In the reserves race it saw a guest for the hosts, as they drafted in a Belle Vue connection through Charles Wright, whose is the brother of ex Ace James and saw Wright and Lee Payne pass either side of Simon Lambert down the back straight to see them storm to victory and take a 5-1 maximum heat advantage.



Barker then made up for his earlier slip up in opening race, as he took the race win in heat 3 before Droylsden native Jason Garrity who came in as guest for the Brummies, saw him touch the tapes and that led to Charles Wright breaking them as he ploughed through them. 

   This saw the referee excluded Garrity for a tape offence, but saw him go off from 15 metres back. Even the speed Garrity generated couldn’t stop Wright and Richie Worrall scoring a 5-1for the Aces as it helped move them further ahead at 17-7.



That lead was increased further when Zagar and Craig Cook made the gate together and saw them team ride round for a maximum heat win to see them 22-8  ahead after just 5 races gone.

   Birmingham then put the double point’s helmet colour on Ben Barker in the next race, as he partnered Danny King and was arguably their strongest pairing in the team.

    Things didn`t go as they planned and could only manage a 5-3 from the race with newly installed Captain to the Aces in Scott Nicholls showing his experience to hold off his former Coventry team mate in Barker and in doing so, took the race win and limit the damage.




Italian rider Nico Covatti for the Brummies saw him pick up a race win to see him become the second Birmingham rider to claim a race win in the match as he took heat 7, when the rider swooped around the outside line and passed Michael Palm Toft by the boards to see move in to the first place and saw him take the race win.

    That was cancelled out well and truly when the home side picked up a couple of heat advantages in the next two races, to see Belle Vue lead 37-19 after 9 races gone.

Heat 10 then saw Birmingham roll the dice one last time to try and crawl their way back into the meeting, as they put the tactical substitution on Danny King and saw him and his team mate Ben Barker score a bit 7-2 heat victory despite the pressure by Matej Zagar trying his hardest to try and get by King. That heat win saw the large Brummies contingent that had made the trip up the M6 for the meeting celebrate their second heat win of the night.



Covatti then made it two wins in a row for himself, as he rode to another race win as the Brummies rider got the better of Craig Cook and had team mate Jason Garrity beat Scott Nicholls into third place for another heat win as they secured a 4-2.

    Belle Vue then struck back in heat 12 as Michael Palm-Toft and Charles Wright got a 5-1 for the home side with Zagar and Cook copying the feat in heat 13, as they too got a maximum heat win to make it 51-32 after a re run which saw Covatti take a heavy fall on the second bend in the original race. That saw the Aces take the match and all points on offer too.



Birmingham then got some pride back in the penultimate race of the night, as Nico Covatti dusted himself off from his heavy fall in the last heat, to come out and pick up his third race victory of the night, whilst Simon Starke his team mate in the race saw him win the battle for third place to see a 4-2 heat advantage for the Second city club.

   The final race saw Richie Worrall and Craig Cook for the Aces face the competition of Ben Barker and Nico Covatti and saw a share of the points in the race, as Cook took the chequered flag to see him finish the night with 11+2 ahead of the Brum duo of Barker and Covatti to see the home side celebrate victory.

    After the meeting, the Aces riders did their now traditional walk through the crowd back to the pits thanking the crowd. Belle Vue included Birmingham riders to come round and thank their fans, to which many stayed behind and saw hugs, kisses and thank you`s to the Birmingham riders if this was to be their last meeting.

With the away fans getting photos and autographs from their riders, the Brummies fans certainly didn`t go quietly into the night and gave a rendition of the Brummies Warcry, perhaps for the last time with July 14th being the deadline for new owners and to save the historic club from extinction.

Belle Vue ACES
1. Matej Zagar 3 2* 2 3 =10+2
2. Michael Palm Toft 1 2 0 3 =6
3. Scott Nicholls 2 3 2* 0 =7+1
4. Richie Worrall 3 0 3 2 f=8
5. Craig Cook 1* 3 2 2* 3 =11+2
6. Charles Wright (G) 3 2* 3 2* =10+2 Paid max
7. Lee Payne 2* 1* 1 0 =4+2
Birmingham BRUMMIES
1. Bartosz Zmarzlik R/R (BB 2 DK 1 JG 1 NC 0)
2. Jason Garrity (G) fexc 0 1 1 0 =2
3. Danny King 0 1 1* 0 6^ =8+1
4. Nico Covatti 0 3 3 fexc 3 1* =10
5. Ben Barker 2 3 4^ 1 1 2 =13
6. Simon Lambert 0 0 fexc =0
7. Paul Starke 1 1 2 1 1 =6