Grand Final Is Go!

They’ve worked all season long for this moment, and on Saturday night the Belle Vue ‘Cool Running’ Colts finally launch their National League title bid at Eastbourne’s Arlington Stadium.

The Mancunians, who finished top of the 2017 league table, are sporting all of their big guns, minus injured captain Lee Payne, as they prepare for an epic first leg against the IT First Eagles.

Their hosts are also only one man down with rider replacement in effect for Charley Powell, and there’s no doubt they will fancy their chances of establishing a decent lead on their home turf.

But the Cool Running Colts have proved no slouches on the road and demonstrated unequalled strength at the National Speedway Stadium, particularly against semi-finalists Lakeside.

The Vortex Hammers were hopeful ahead of the northern leg of their play off clash with the league leaders after establishing a 16-point lead in Purfleet; which the Colts swiftly crushed.

Team boss Graham Goodwin is equally hopeful of a strong performance from his side that will ensure they give themselves a fighting chance in the return leg in Manchester on October 18.

He said: “Our expectations are no different than they always have been. We know the boys are hungry for this and that they will give 100 percent towards the opportunity in front of them.

“On our last visit to Arlington we were heavily reliant on guests whereas this time we’re as near to full strength as possible which the lads are more than happy with and they’re looking forward to it.

“It’s a very different track to Belle Vue so we can expect two very different and challenging halves to this final. Realistically we want to be coming away having kept things as close as possible.

“Eastbourne are very powerful on their home track just as we are on ours and I have faith in this team that anything that gets thrown their way, they will return with equal vigor in the second leg.”


Eastbourne ‘IT First’ Eagles
Josh Bailey, Charley Powell R/R, Georgie Wood (C), Tom Brennan, Jake Knight, Drew Kemp, Mattie Bates; TM: Connor Dugard

Belle Vue ‘Cool Running’ Colts
Dan Bewley, Kyle Bickley, Lee Payne R/R, Rob Shuttleworth (C), Jack Smith, Andy Mellish, Luke Woodhull; TM: Stephen Williams & Graham Goodwin

Photo - Ian Charles

Friday 13th October 2017