Monday June 18, 2018
WOLVERHAMPTON suffered Knockout Cup deja vu after missing out to Belle Vue 46-44.

The home side’s bid for a miracle KO Cup comeback against the Aces was scuppered by two crushing moments - and ended up in disappointment.

Trailing by 24 points after a May Bank Holiday drubbing in Manchester, the Wolves were always going to be up against it at Monmore Green.

But it looked as if Parrys International Wolves would mount a big challenge after roaring into a six-point lead after three heats.

Firstly reserve Nathan Greaves, having gated in Heat 4, lifted alarmingly and crashed out into the first bend fence.

In the re-run Belle Vue landed their first heat advantage and that seemed to galvanise the Aces. Any hopes for the Wolves were finally extinguished by a controversial Heat 9 exclusion for Sam Masters after Jye Etheridge appeared to fall on his own on turn one.

That meant Wolves Cup hopes were once again shattered by Belle Vue, who beat them in last year’s final.

Greaves was relieved to walk away from his horror moment. He admitted: “I didn’t think it was going to end well. I’m just glad to walk away.

“It’s a bitter sweet night. I had my best ever score of paid 10 yet the team lost so it’s hard to celebrate in any way.

“I think I’m going to feel second hand in the morning but it was worth it for my best score ever. I also got called up into the Great Britain Under-21 squad so it’s been a great day for me.”

Wolves lost their way after powerful start following Greaves’ horror Heat 4 incident. Thankfully he walked away but it seemed to knocked the home side’s momentum of building a lead.

Thereafter the home side never really managed to put the Aces under any sort of pressure. After successive 4-2 success in Heats 4 and 5, the visitors were rarely made to sweat. The exclusion for Masters in Heat 9 was a further hammer blow and a 5-1 from Craig Cook and Jason Garrity in Heat 11 ended any hopes for Wolves. A last heat maximum for the visitors rubbed further salt in Wolf wounds.

Rory Schlein was strangely subdued as was Cameron Heeps, who wasn’t the expected trump card from reserve.

In contrast the Aces were compact and solid. Cook and Max Fricke were impressive while Rohan Tungate delivered a vital paid eight and Pole Damian Drozdz popped up with a crucial race win in Heat 8.

WOLVERHAMPTON 44: Jacob Thorssell 11, Kyle Howarth 9+1, Nathan Greaves 7+3, Rory Schlein 6, Sam Masters 5, Ashley Morris 3+2, Cameron Heeps 3.
BELLE VUE 46: Craig Cook 12, Max Fricke 11+1, Rohan Tungate 7+1, Jason Garrity 6+2, Damian Drozdz 5, Dan Bewley 4, Jye Etheridge 1.
Belle Vue win 103-77 on aggregate.

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