Start of a thrilling heat 9 Image Credit: Steve Brock

Devils miss a point on their first NSS visit

REPORT Saturday 21st August 2021, 2:51pm

by Mike Hunter

The Stellar Devils played their full part in an entertaining fixture at the National Speedway Stadium on Friday night before going down 51-39 to the Belle Vue Colts.

With Nathan Greaves on duty for Edinburgh, Kyle Bickley came in to guest and showed how well he rides the NSS track.

Devils' manager Alan Budzynski said "Once again I thought we were very close to getting something from the match, just four points down with three races left, but it slipped away as it has done once or twice. Kyle Bickley was a great substitute for Nathan, really on the pace and riding the boards. Danny Phillips too has certainly come on and was leading the charge. These two have ridden there many times.

"Tom and the youngsters struggled a bit with their setups but were on the pace, considering that track is so different from anywhere else they have ridden.

"There were a number of little things which went wrong – George Rothery lost a chain, Gregor had a puncture, and George touched the tapes in heat 14. But it's all learning, that's what they tell me the National Development League is about!"

Explaining the first heat 2-minute exclusion for Gregor Millar he added "The 2-minute warning is not as visible at Belle Vue as it is at some places and we were not aware of it. Gregor came back with a loose wheel or something and we ran out of time."

Danny Phillips took three race wins during the evening and Kyle Bickley had a couple within his dozen-point performance.

The racing improved as the night went on and several of the heats qualified for a "Race of the Season" label on the live updates. Devils were 8 down when Archie Freeman and Tom Woolley gated in heat 9, a great heat with Colts' Paul Bowen coming through for victory.

In the following race Phillips and Rothery took a 5-1, and Phillips was at it again in a thrilling heat 12 which was a Devils 4-2. Just four points in it at that stage!

There was time for a couple of great heats between Jack Smith and Kyle Bickley as the Colts took the major points in the closing stages.