Thursday September 19, 2019
SWINDON have been crowned the first-ever winners of the Premiership Supporters’ Cup.

The CFS Filtration Robins defeated Belle Vue 56-34 in front of a packed crowd at the Abbey Stadium on Thursday to turn around an eight-point first leg deficit and win on aggregate by 14.

It was the club’s first-ever Cup success at top-flight level and it gives them the chance of completing the Double when their play-off campaign gets underway later this month.

But the victory wasn’t all plain sailing with the final margin not reflective of the fact that with just four races remaining, the Aces held a two-point advantage overall – before Swindon came up with a blockbusting finale of four 5-1s in those final four heats.

The early stages went largely according to plan, with the Robins opening their advantage thanks to a super maximum from reserves Ellis Perks and Claus Vissing in Heat 2, and a 5-1 concession in Heat 3 when Rasmus Jensen suffered mechanical trouble only briefly held up their progress.

When skipper Jason Doyle and Adam Ellis raced to a 5-1 over Dan Bewley in Heat 6, the Robins had levelled the aggregate position, and the next two races seemed to put them in control of the Final.

Troy Batchelor held on in Heat 7 despite slowing late in the race, with Perks defeating Jaimon Lidsey for third place, and a further 4-2 followed in Heat 8 courtesy of Ellis and Vissing.

But the Aces weren’t about to lie down and nearly pulled off a 5-1 in Heat 9 only for Jye Etheridge to go wide off the final bend and allow Jensen to slip past for second place.

Lidsey was an impressive winner over Doyle in Heat 10 with a fast start from the outside, and whilst that race was shared the visitors did go back ahead overall in a dramatic Heat 11 when Steve Worrall and Max Fricke gated on a 5-1 only to be split by Batchelor – who then nearly fell in his efforts to pass Worrall, enabling Fricke to retake second place.

After the interval, though, it was one-way traffic with the Robins fast from the starts and decisive from the back with Jensen re-passing Kenneth Bjerre for second place in Heat 12 to team up with Doyle.

Tobiasz Musielak had struggled early in the meeting but picked the perfect moment to come good as he and Batchelor overcame Aces skipper Fricke in Heat 13 to take Swindon to within one race of the trophy.

And the supporter-nominated Heat 14 resulted in a third successive 5-1 to secure the silverware, supplied by Ellis and Batchelor who gated clear of Bjerre and Worrall.

There was no let-up in the finale as Musielak grabbed his second win whilst Jensen provided more thrills with a determined ride to get the better of Fricke for another maximum advantage.

Swindon manager Alun Rossiter said: “The boys were fantastic, and everyone did their bit including the reserves.

“I always say the reserves’ race is important and I was a bit nervous, I never expected to get a 5-1 there so that was a big thumbs-up to the two boys – they did really well there.

“Tobi was struggling early on but we changed something and sorted it; Rasser dropped a chain in his first one, but then he got it together – but things like that don’t do any good for my heart!

“Winning the top-league Cup for the first time is good for the team and also good for the town. It’s nice to have a bit of success – the football team have had a great start to the season, and we had our friends from the ice hockey here and hopefully they’ll have another good season. It’s all good for the town because people are always quick to put Swindon down.”

SWINDON 56: Jason Doyle 11, Adam Ellis 10+2, Troy Batchelor 10+2, Rasmus Jensen 8+2, Tobiasz Musielak 8+1, Ellis Perks 5, Claus Vissing 4+1.
BELLE VUE 34: Max Fricke 9+1, Kenneth Bjerre 6+1, Jaimon Lidsey 6, Steve Worrall 5, Jye Etheridge 4, Dan Bewley 4, Dimitri Berge 0.
Swindon win 97-83 on aggregate

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