Wolverhampton Wolves suffer more late agony
Wolverhampton’s agonising end to the season was capped off by a 52-38 Knockout Cup Final defeat at Belle Vue last night.
After missing out on SGB Premiership glory by just a single point earlier this month, the injury-hit Parrys International Wolves were beaten by four points on aggregate despite a brave effort in Manchester.
They took a 10-point lead to the National Speedway Stadium following a battling first leg display a week earlier.
But they were unable to defend their advantage on another heartbreaking evening which means they will end the 2017 campaign without any major silverware.
The Aces roared clear in the early stages and had pulled themselves level on aggregate after just five heats.
Yet Peter Adams’ determined side responded to retake the lead as Sam Masters held off hard-charging guest Chris Harris in heat seven.
A magnificent ride from Mark Riss to see off Rohan Tungate in heat nine was backed up by Masters taking third as they moved four ahead.
However, the hosts responded with Kenneth Bjerre blasting around Riss to join partner Steve Worrall at the front and level things in heat 10.
Teenage racer Dan Bewley pulled off a breathtaking manoeuvre on the final bend of heat 11 to round Scott Nicholls and move the Aces into a slender lead.
And when Tungate stormed past guest Richie Worrall on the second lap of the penultimate race it left Wolves needing a 5-1 to tie things up in the last heat.
Tungate duly delivered as last heat hero for the hosts, while Richard Lawson and Masters filled in the minor placings as the Monmore men suffered more heat 15 agony.
Both riders battled admirably to lead a Wolves side desperately missing inspirational heat-leader duo Freddie Lindgren and Jacob Thorssell as well as Rory Schlein.
Masters avoided last places and put in a solid showing, while Lawson earned two classy race wins but both had their ups and downs.
Scott Nicholls struggled to make an impact against his former club at No.1, as did Richie Worrall as he improved as the night progressed but failed to register a race win.
It meant the home side accounted for 11 race victories over the course of the night, and it meant Wolves just missed out on what would have been a remarkable win given their injury nightmare.
Reserve duo Mark Riss and Nathan Greaves both but in determined displays against a strong Aces’ lower order.
But it was just not to be for the West Midlands side, who will head into the winter no doubt feeling aggrieved that a late-season injury crisis prevented them from fulfilling their ambitions.