Words: Hayley Bromley
What began as a tough night at Rye House evolved into jubilation for Belle Vue after a final 5-1 sealed a 44-46 win as well as three Premiership points, reinforcing their position third in the table.
After a slow start and at one point falling behind by 6 points, the Rentruck Aces dished up plenty of resistance as they fought to keep their opponents from moving too far ahead in the early stages.
Their efforts did not go unrewarded and a vital Heat 11 advantage to Max Fricke and Steve Worrall put the visitors right back in contention, leaving them trailing by just two points with one race to go.
Skipper Craig Cook led his side by example from start to finish, bagging 14 points in a remarkable display of skill which he will be looking to reproduce in Saturday’s SGP Qualifier in Terenzano, Italy.
Also enjoying his night was guest star Brady Kurtz of Poole, who literally proved to be a ‘bolt from the blue’ providing a solid contribution of 10+1 as well as some much needed heat leader support.
Team boss Mark Lemon said: “It was vital we hit the ground running. The pressures of the league are part of professional sports and the calibre of this team is such that they thrive under pressure.
“I’ll be honest, based on what I was seeing from the boys in the early half of the meeting I was expecting to see a big response from them as we went along and that’s just what we got.
“A few little things weren’t going our way initially but their overall performance never looked in doubt. They were well on the ball and never lost the belief that things would swing in their favour.
“Brady came in and did a fantastic job. He filled Kenneth’s boots very well and the rest of the boys did likewise, putting in the kind of night’s work that’s expected of them and that they’re capable of.”
It’s a busy weekend for Belle Vue in both leagues as the Aces head to Leicester and the Colts to Eastbourne on June 17, before the best of British battle for glory in Manchester on June 19.