Belle Vue Colts 53 – 37 Stoke Potters
Belle Vue Colts made it a double over the Stoke Potters this weekend with a big win at the National Speedway Stadium on Friday night thanks to a more than familiar friend completing a maximum on his home track, while Saturday a tighter affair and has the Colts moving up the Conference League table.
Friday evening saw a struggling Stoke side returning to the NSS for the second time after the previous meeting between the two in the Knockout cup saw the Manchester rain causing an early end to proceedings, as the elements saw the Loomer Road side inflicting the only home defeat on the Belle Vue side to date.
Belle Vue were without the services of Lee Payne and Daniel Bewley for the meeting, as they were both riding for their primary clubs in Redcar and Edinburgh in the Premier League. In came a former Colts Alumni in Jon Armstrong from Mildenhall and also Belle Vue Aces reserve and now riding for the Wightlink Warriors as a doubling up rider in one Joe Jacobs, so the Colts had a trump card in the form of the Ipswich native.
The opening race started with 5-1 to the home side as Joe Jacobs led from start to finish as he took the win but behind him Stoke’s Ben Hopwood came under a lot of pressure from Tom Woolley but saw the Colts man sneak it on the line for maximum points. Heat 3 saw another 5-1 for the hosts as Matt Williamson streaked ahead of the others and saw Danny Phillips making a pass on the outside down the back straight on Rob Shuttleworth to move into second, that was until the Belle Vue man returned the favour later on to take second.
Ben Wilson became the first Stoke man to take the chequered flag in the meeting for the visitors, as the former Sheffield Tigers man roared around the big circuit to which he was accustomed to at Owlerton. In heat 5 a 4-2 advantage went the way of the Colts after Rob Shuttleworth made a complete mess at the start and saw his all action racing make for an exciting race, as he was forced to battle his way from back after firstly overtaking Shaun Tedman and then ran out of time to close the gap on Ben Hopwood with Williamson taking the win.
Jacobs made it two wins from two in heat 6 as he came up the inside of Wilson off the second bend to take the lead and his partner in Tom Woolley saw him slamming the door shut firmly on David Morgan from the Potters to keep third. With the Colts firmly in control after six races gones with a 12 points lead at 24-12, it then saw Danny Phillips and Tony Atkins combining for the Staffordshire side to see them recording a 5-1 and their only race advantage in the match.
Tom Woolley and David Holt both looked set for a 5-1 for the Colts, that was until Paul Burnett flew around the outside of Holt and slipped into second place and saw a 4-2 heat win instead. Matt Williamson saw him staying undefeated in the meeting in heat 9, after he found enough room to squeeze himself between Ben Wilson and the fence on the back straight as his guts saw him moving into the lead with Shuttleworth easily in third, as Morgan was nowhere near to pressure him.
The Stoke duo of Tony Atkins and Danny Phillips saw them once again making the gate in heat 10, but Joe Jacobs wasn’t in any mood to give up on his unbeaten streak and saw him making a move on Atkins on the first bend then cutting up the inside of Phillips to claim his third win of the night as the Colts led 36-24. Jon Armstrong picked up his first race win in the follow heat as the home side extended their lead with a 4-2.
Both Williamson and Jacobs won the next two races and in heat 14 Shuttleworth made a brilliant swooping pass on the outside of Phillips to take the lead and with the Stoke man gaining on him by every lap, it saw on the final bed Phillips getting extra drive and came so very close to running into Shuttleworth but had to back off and saw the Colts man taking the win with Joe Lawlor keeping Paul Burnett now for a 4-2.
In the final race of the night it saw Ben Wilson making the gate with Joe Jacobs flying by Danny Phillips and then chased down Wilson on the third bend to get first and completing a full maximum for himself, while his teammate Matt Williamson was too far behind to get involved in the points and missed out on a paid maximum.
Belle Vue = 53
1. Joe Jacobs (G) 3, 3, 3, 3, 3 = 15
2. Tom Woolley 2′, 1, 3, 0 = 6+1
3. Matt Williamson 3, 3, 3, 3, 0 = 12
4. Rob Shuttleworth 2′, 1, 1, 3 = 7+1
5. Jon Armstrong (G) 2, 1, 3, 0 = 6
6. Joe Lawlor 3, 0, 1, 1 = 5
7. David Holt 0, 1′, 1, 0 = 2+1
Stoke = 37
1. Ben Hopwood 1, 2, 2, 2 = 7
2. Shaun Tedham 0, 0, 0 = 0
3. Tony Atkin 0, 2′, 1′, 2 = 5+2
4. Danny Phillips 1, 3, 2, 2, 2 = 10
5. Ben Wilson 3, 2, 2, 1′, 1′ = 9+2
6. David Morgan 2, 0, R, 1′ = 3+1
7. Paul Burnett 1′, 0, 2, 0, 0 = 3+1
Saturday night saw a very tight affair in the return fixture down in Staffordshire, with the Manchester side coming from 30-24 points down to overcome the deficit and defeat the Potters on their home track in a tight 46-44 win. Former Stoke man Lee Payne returned to the Colts line up and top scored with 12 points while Dan Bewley saw him scoring 11+1.
STOKE 44: Ben Wilson 11, Tony Atkin 9+1, Paul Burnett 7+3, Danny Phillips 7+1, Shaun Tedham 5+1, Ben Hopwood 13, David Morgan 2+1.
BELLE VUE 46: Lee Payne 12, Dan Bewley 11+1, Danyon Hume 9, Rob Shuttleworth 8+1, Tom Woolley 5+1, David Holt 1, Joe Lawlor 0.