Sunday, May 19, 2024
Oxford SpeedwaySpires

REPORT: Spires push Aces close at the National Speedway Stadium

OXS OXFORD SPIRES kept in contention for most of the evening at Belle Vue in Manchester at the National Speedway Stadium last night (Monday), before falling away in the closing stages, to eventually lose by 39-51.

Spires only provided three heat winners, but by packing the minor placings, there were still just four points behind the hosts entering the final three races.

Oxford seemed to produce a fourth race winner in Heat 10, after Belle Vue’s Norrick Blodorn went wide on the final turn. It was a tight finish, but Charles Wright seemingly snatched it on the line to take his second race night on the win – and Wright celebrated the victory after the race – only for referee Willie Dishington to give the verdict to Blodorn.

Aces took 5-1s in both Heats 13 and 15, as they ended up with a 12-point margin that slightly flattered them on a night were the two teams combined to provide some excellent racing around a flat-out horsepower circuit, despite some afternoon rain and light drizzle throughout the first half of the evening.

Reserve Craig Cook top-scored for solid Spires with 8+2, while both Rohan Tungate (Heat 5) and Maciej Janowski (Heat 7) won races, with Janowski achieving his victory from the back, after roaring around Grand Prix rider Dan Bewley on the opening lap.

Team manager Peter Schroeck said: “We kept it really close until the end of the meeting, when Belle Vue’s big guns came good. It showed how well we did that I couldn’t put in a tactical substitute until Heat 14. In that race, I gave Craig Cook a reserve ride, since he was leading Heat 12 for most of that race and was going strong towards the end of the meeting.

“It was a shame that I had to take Ashton Boughen out of that race, since he’d produced a fantastic ride in Heat 8 to pass Connor Bailey for third, but we had to try to get a 5-1 from Heat 14 to take it to the final race.

“We kept with them for most of the meeting, because we largely avoided last places. Belle Vue were providing heat winners, while we were finishing second and third. It was a solid performance from us.

“Bomber (Chris Harris) had a frustrating night. It was the machine rather than the man and we think we know what it is, so he’ll get it fixed and he’ll be fine. This is a tough place to come to – it’s so fast. But there were plenty positives, such as Maciej starting to find his feet in British Speedway.

“Maybe Belle Vue did run away with it at the end, but they’ve still got to come to us a week on Thursday (May 23). We’ve got a completely different race track and I’m confident that we can pull back what we lost here, so I’m staying positive and we’ll keep on pushing on.”

Belle Vue Aces 51: Brady Kurtz 9, Norrick Blodorn 6, Jaimon Lidsey 4, Ben Cook 13, Dan Bewley 11+3, Connor Mountain 4+1, Connor Bailey 4.

OXS Oxford Spires 39: Rohan Tungate 7+1, Erik Riss 6+1, Charles Wright 6+1, Maciej Janowski 8+1, Chris Harris 3, Craig Cook 8+2, Ashton Boughen 1+1.

PHOTO: Maciej Janoski scored 8+1 at the NSS, including passing Dan Bewley to win Heat 7 (pic: Stev Edmunds)