Thursday May 18, 2023
WOLVERHAMPTON booked their place in the Sports Insure Premiership Knockout Cup Semi-Finals "“ despite losing 54-36 at Belle Vue.

The Parrys International Wolves did the majority of the hard work at Monmore Green last month when they built up a 26-point advantage in the rain-hit, abandoned first leg.

And despite Belle Vue extending their unbeaten run to six fixtures, the Monmore men did enough in Manchester to make it through 82-74 on aggregate.

There were three shared heats in the opening four races. Steve Worrall rode an excellent outing against his old club; he made the gate away from the inside before covering every inch of the track to fend off hard charging Grand Prix star Dan Bewley.

Zach Cook won the second after producing a smart move under Belle Vue guest Paco Castagna down the back straight of the opening lap before Rory Schlein settled for second and guest reserve Kyle Bickley secured a solid third place in Heat Four.

The hosts clawed six points back on aggregate from Heats Three and Five though with home duo Jaimon Lidsey and Charles Wright claiming a 4-2 and a 5-1 respectively.

Another 4-2 followed before Wolves registered their first heat advantage of the night in the seventh.

Ryan Douglas weighed up his options before cutting back under home captain Brady Kurtz into bend three while guest Justin Sedgmen fought hard to finish third ahead of Castagna.

Worrall picked up his second race win of the night in Heat Eight, again riding extremely smartly to keep Wright behind him before the hosts gained a little bit of belief with another 5-1 and 4-2 in Heats Nine and Ten.

But Worrall and skipper Sam Masters tucked in behind Kurtz to settle any slight nerves ahead of the interval.

The Wolves grouped together in the break "“ and an all action Heat 12 more-or-less guaranteed things for the Wolves.

Cook only received two points for his stunning efforts following a thrilling tussle with maximum man Lidsey while Sedgmen came through on lap three to get by Castagna.

Masters and Schlein conceded a 5-1 in Heat 13 but a pumped-up Douglas helped put the result beyond any mathematical doubt as he and Cook raced to a 4-2 in Heat 14.

Team Manager Peter Adams said: "It was a difficult night for us and we had one or two issues throughout the team.

"Sam Masters wasn't well "“ you could tell that from his performance as his score was nowhere near what you would expect.

"But we got through and that's what we came for."

The Parrys International Wolves are back in league action on Monday (May 22, 7.30) when they host Ipswich "“ who are led by 2017 World Champion Jason Doyle and also include former World No.3 Emil Sayfutdinov.

BELLE VUE 54: Jaimon Lidsey 15, Dan Bewley 12+2, Brady Kurtz 11, Charles Wright 9+2, Paco Castagna 5+1, Jake Mulford 2+2 Tom Brennan R/R.
PARRYS INTERNATIONAL WOLVES 36: Ryan Douglas 11, Steve Worrall 9, Zach Cook 7, Rory Schlein 4, Justin Sedgmen 2+1, Sam Masters 2+1, Kyle Bickley 1+1.

Photo credit: IAN CHARLES

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