There were mixed emotions in the Belle Vue camp after the Rentruck Aces bowed out of the Premiership Knock Out Cup, despite bagging an emphatic 50-40 home win against Somerset.
But it was not enough to overcome the 14-point advantage established by the Cases Rebels at the Oaktree Arena, meaning they now go on to face King’s Lynn for 2018 KOC silverware.
True to their form all season the visitors made life difficult for their hosts, pressuring them in the opening heats to try and negate a swift turnaround of the deficit and keep things in their favour.
They succeeded for some time until the Rentruck Aces started to find their mojo and brought the meeting to within two races of a golden-heat situation with a spectacular display in Heat 13.
This time however is was both Max Fricke and Craig Cook who got the better of Jason Doyle and Jack Holder, but ultimately the defending champions were unable to hold on long enough.
Skipper Max Fricke said: “It was a such a shame to lose by only 4 points on aggregate. It was a great win for the boys on the night but it just wasn’t enough to put us through to the final.
“The advantage they brought from the first leg definitely played its part. It wasn’t an impossible ask but it’s not an easy margin to recover when you’re facing down a team like Somerset.
“Still, it gave us the opportunity to get a bit more time on the bike ahead of the big one against King’s Lynn. It would’ve been nice to defend our title but now we need to focus on the big one.
“King’s Lynn have beaten us here twice this season and so we’re going to do everything we can to make sure they don’t leave Manchester with any kind of advantage. That’s our top priority.”
The Rentruck Aces’ commence their play off semi-final against King’s Lynn at the National Speedway Stadium on Monday, September 24 with hopes of taking a favorable lead into leg two.
Their Premiership title chase will then be decided in Norfolk on October 1. Tickets for the home meeting are now available at www.bellevueaces.co and at the stadium box office on race night.
RESULT - BELLE VUE V SOMERSET - WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 24 [SGBP KOC SF L2]
Belle Vue ‘Rentruck’ Aces 50: Craig Cook 13+1, Rohan Tungate 11+1, Max Fricke 10, Dimitri Berge 8+2, Steve Worrall 7+1, Jonas B Andersen 1, Dan Bewley R/R
Somerset ‘Cases’ Rebels 40: Jason Doyle 8, Jack Holder 8, Aaron Summers 7+1, Bradley Wilson-Dean 5+1, Richard Lawson 5, Jake Allen 5, Nico Covatti 2+1
Aggregate Scores: Belle Vue 88 Somerset 92