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Birmingham v Belle Vue
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ACES LEAD BY EIGHT

BELLE Vue established an eight-point lead over Sheffield on Easter Monday to leave their Premiership KO Cup tie finely poised ahead of the second leg.

The Aces won 49-41 at the National Speedway Stadium with their second strings and reserves coming to the fore whilst Tai Woffinden shone for the Tigers.

The former World Champion won four races and finished with 13+1 as his team had to battle to remain in touch, even with the Aces’ top two of Brady Kurtz and Dan Bewley not recording their usual high scores.

Jaimon Lidsey collected 10 points with Norick Blodorn (9) winning three races, whilst reserves Connor Mountain and Connor Bailey outscored their counterparts 12-2.

Kurtz (6+1) said: “This was a very important result for us. We knew Sheffield weren’t going to make it easy and there were a couple of moments where we almost tripped up.

“It wasn’t perhaps my finest hour. We made quite a few changes to the bike and eventually found something that worked, but that’s one of the great things about this team.

“We’ve got the guys there who can step up and fill in the gaps when others are struggling, and with that in mind we can feel pretty good about going to Sheffield on Thursday.”

Sheffield boss Simon Stead said: “It could’ve been better, but it could’ve been a lot worse as well.

“We knew it was going to be a tough test because it’s a tough place to come to.

“Collectively we’ve kept it within eight and I can’t fault any of them for effort. I think eight points down going into the home fixture keeps it mouthwatering for both parties.”

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Photo credit: IAN CHARLES