Belle Vue Colts 50-40 Cradley Heathens
This past Friday night saw a makeshift Belle Vue Colts side picking up a battling 50-40 points victory over the playoff bound Cradley Heathens at the National Speedway Stadium, thanks to the brilliant performances of trio Matt Williamson, Lee Payne and guest Jack Smith.
Belle Vue opened the meeting with a 4-2 heat advantage with Matt Williamson getting passed Cradley’s Ashley Morris around the outside on the opening lap to lead and saw his team mate Tom Woolley keeping third while under pressure. Bradley Andrews of the Heathens then blasted his way around David Holt to lead and saw Holt then being chased down by Ben Basford, only for the visiting rider to fall off on the second bend of the third lap and gave the home side a shared heat.
Heat 3 saw Nathan Greaves enjoying another good pay day at the NSS, as he took the race win ahead of Matt Williamson after stopping the run of the Colts number 1 around the outside and held the home rider back in second place for another shared race. Tom Perry and Lee Payne then had a great little tussle out front in Heat 4, as Perry needed to be alert with Payne breathing down his neck for the whole four laps.
Cradley then collected their first race advantage of the evening, after Ashley Morris swooped around the outside of Tom Woolley to take the lead and then saw his partner Richard Andrews passing Woolley on the second lap to give the Heathens a 4-2 heat win and level the match up at 15-15 at piece. Heat 6 saw two races in one as the Belle Vue pairing of Williamson and Woolley got out on a 5-1, only for the duo to be split up by Perry and saw him chase down Williamson for the entire race and was unable to find a way at all.
Meanwhile, Tom Woolley faced a stern test from Ben Basford who was swarming all over the Colts man in the race and saw Woolley needing track knowledge just help him securing third place for the home side once more, and put the Colts back in front at 19-17.
A superb ride a couple races later by Tom Woolley saw him coming around Richard Andrews to take the lead coming out of turns three and four on lap 2, as saw the Colts rider then riding a defensive line to keep the Cradley rider at bay. Belle Vue then collected a very fortunate 5-1 in Heat 9, after Tom Perry looked set for a race win until he suffered a puncture just prior to the final lap and that allowed Lee Payne and Jack Smith son of former Aces Legend Andy Smith, to pick up maximum points and see the home side leading by six.
Matt Williamson collected his second race win of the night in Heat 10 after he got the better of Nathan Greaves and saw the Colts man flying from the gate, while Joe Lawlor who struggled all night with his set up, then had his best ride of the evening to pick up a point as he rounded the Heathens rider on the final bend on the penultimate lap to see a 3-3.
Jack Smith then channelled the riding of his dad in Heat 12, when the youngster split the Cradley duo up down the back straight and that saw Smith pulling away from the other riders in the race to take the race win. Heat 13 saw drama during and after the race, as firstly the Colts duo of Williamson and Payne got out on a 5-1 and that was until Ashley Morris got by both on the opening bends of the final lap, but Matt Williamson who unbeknown to him had his throttle jammed on the bike and saw him keeping the speed on to round Morris for a stunning win.
After the race, it saw Williamson riding the bike like a ‘bucking bronco’ down the back straight and as after he pulling the cut out on the bike to stop it dead, the bike refused to die and after his mechanics came out to try and solve the problem, it saw his bike then go up in flames with the Belle Vue man still on it before jumping off and having it sprayed by the nearby fire extinguishers.
Heat 14 saw another 4-2 going the way of the home side, with Jack Smith beginning to get to grips with the track and saw him flying around the boards and led everyone for the entire race and had Bradley Andrews suffering a second puncture for the Heathens side on what was a frustrating night for the Midlands side. Lee Payne rounded the night off with the race win in Heat 15 and saw the home side thinking what could have been if injuries and problems with the stadium at the start of the season hadn’t delayed their season.
Belle Vue Colts = 50
1. Matt Williamson – 3, 2, 3, 3, 3 = 14
2. Tom Woolley – 1, 0, 1, 3, 0 = 5
3. R/R for Dan Bewley – (MW – 2, TW – 0, LP – 2′, JS – 3 = 7+1)
4. Jack Smith (Guest) – 1′, 2, 3, 3, 3, 0 = 12+1
5. Lee Payne – 2, 2, 2′, 2, 1, 3 = 12+1
6. David Holt – 2, 1′, 1′, 1 = 5+2
7. Andy Mellish – 1′, 1′, 0, 0 = 2+1
Cradley Heathens = 40
1. Ashley Morris – 2, 3, 3, 2, 2 = 12
2. Richard Andrews – 0, 1, 1′, 0, 2 = 4+1
3. Nathan Greaves (Guest) – 3, 3, 2, 2, 1′ = 11+1
4. R/R for James Purchase – (JL – 0, JL – 0, JL – 1′, RA – 2 = 3+1)
5. Tom Perry (Guest) – 3, 2, R, R = 5
6. Ben Basford – F, 0, 1, (BA – 1′) = 1+1
7. Bradley Andrews – 3, 0, 2, 1′, R = 6+1
8. Joe Lawlor – 0, 0, 1′ = 1+1