Aces Down But Not Out
The Belle Vue Aces face an Herculean task of pulling back an 18-point deficit when they return to Manchester on Wednesday for Leg 2 of their Elite League Play Off Grand Final against Wolves.
Aces top-scorer Craig Cook leads Tai Woffinden (IC)
Team manager Mark Lemon refuses to press the panic button however, and emphatically affirms his belief in his riders to turn things around come the home leg at the National Speedway Stadium.
He said: “It is a Play Off Final so the anxiety levels are slightly different to a league match, and we clearly didn’t get off to a great start. Quite a few of the boys were struggling with set-ups all night.
“It’s early October and the weather conditions are changeable. But I fully expect our boys to do at home what the Wolves did to us on Monday. To be honest I’m not surprised at what happened.
“Wolves are very strong around Monmore Green and it was always going to be a tough job but I believe that we can recover from this, and I don’t believe there will be any added pressure on us.
“In fact, I think it’ll be quite the opposite. There are those who would say 18 points is not achievable but if these boys go out there and race their hearts out, as they always do, anything’s possible.
“We had a little chat in the changing room after the meeting. Our heads haven’t dropped. Max and Joe didn’t have a great night but then we know just how good they are around our home track.
“Of course we’re disappointed but the important thing is our morale hasn’t dropped. We wanted to keep things close and unfortunately that didn’t go to plan. But there’s a lot of spirit in this group.”
Though defeated 54-36 on the night Lemon insists the title is still both teams’ to lose, and that even such a hefty deficit can be overturned and doesn’t rule his Rentruck Aces out of contention.
He said: “Wolves I’m sure will think having a such a lead means they can come to our place and smoke us but they’d be foolish to think that, and I do see some role reversal on Wednesday.
“You can see in the faces of these Belle Vue Aces that they’re going to throw everything they’ve got at their opponent in Leg 2, and we absolutely can’t wait for them to come to Manchester.”
RESULT - ELITE LEAGUE GRAND FINAL LEG 1 - MONDAY OCTOBER 3RD
Wolverhampton ’Parrys International’ Wolves 54
Kyle Howarth 12+1, Jacob Thorssell 9+2, Freddie Lindgren 9, Tai Woffinden 8+2, Sam Masters 8, Peter Karlsson 4+3, Max Clegg 4+1
Belle Vue ’Rentruck’ Aces 36
Craig Cook 10, Steve Worrall 8, Scott Nicholls 6, Richie Worrall 6, Matej Zagar 5+1, Max Fricke 1, Joe Jacobs 0
Monday 3rd October 2016