ROBINS 52 BELLE VUE 38 (AGG: 94-86)

Thursday March 22, 2018
SWINDON clinched the Charity Shield with a 52-38 win over Belle Vue at the Abbey – for an eight point aggregate success.

The CFS Filtration Robins were six points down from Monday’s first leg, but they quickly took control of the return fixture and put the silverware within their grasp with a spectacular burst of three successive mid-meeting 5-1s.

With positives throughout the team, six of the seven riders won at least one race – and the other was reserve Mitchell Davey, who enjoyed a dream home debut with three paid wins, including successes over Aces big guns Max Fricke and Steve Worrall.

Davey was involved in Swindon 5-1s in Heat 2, Heat 4 and Heat 8, the latter seeing them take the lead in the tie for the first time as he held back the strong challenge of Worrall on the third turn.

Visiting No.1 Craig Cook won his first two rides and ex-Robin Rohan Tungate also made a lively start, but the visitors lost Polish newcomer Damian Drozdz with an arm injury after a Heat 7 spill.

He wasn’t the only rider in the wars as Swindon’s Adam Ellis crashed heavily on the first bend of Heat 1, thankfully without injury.

And Ellis showed there were no ill effects by roaring clear to win Heat 8 and then teaming up with skipper Nick Morris for maximum points over Tungate and Dan Bewley in Heat 10.

Tobiasz Musielak then became the first man to beat Cook in Heat 11, before a mini Aces revival threatened the Robins’ position with Troy Batchelor working hard to split Bewley and Jye Etheridge after being outgated in Heat 12.

Morris suffered mechanical trouble prior to Heat 13 and with Musielak disqualified for jumping the start, the visitors took their chance to narrow the aggregate gap to four points.

But David Bellego, who recovered from a Heat 3 last place to top-score for the Robins, took full control of Heat 14 with Zach Watjknecht supplying a battling third place to clinch the Shield, passing Bewley on the back straight.

Manager Alun Rossiter said: “I’ve got to give special praise to the two reserves, and they really gelled the team.

“I think these two boys were fired up, because the press labelled us the weakest reserves in the league, and I love it when they do that! They certainly showed their boys the way round tonight.

“I know it’s only two meetings and there’s a long way to go, our feet are firmly on the ground, but there’s a great atmosphere in the team and long may it continue.

“We’ve got everyone not just focusing on themselves but working together, and the reserves are talking and asking questions. There are no gaps in the team, and everyone talks together.”

Robins now turn their attentions to their defence of the Premiership title, with an attractive-looking Leicester side visiting the Abbey next Thursday (March 29).

SWINDON 52: David Bellego 10+1, Troy Batchelor 8, Tobiasz Musielak 8, Mitchell Davey 7+3, Nick Morris 7+1, Adam Ellis 7+1, Zach Wajtknecht 5+1
BELLE VUE 38: Craig Cook 9+2, Max Fricke 9, Rohan Tungate 8, Steve Worrall 5, Dan Bewley 4, Jye Etheridge 2, Damian Drozdz 1+1
Swindon win 94-86 on aggregate

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