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Sam and Richie contest heat 2 at Belle Vue Image Credit: Taylor Lanning

Sam on song in finale

NEWS Thursday 22nd October 2020, 10:04pm

by Mike Hunter

Monarchs' captain Sam Masters had a good night in his final meeting of this very strange 2020 season in Manchester tonight, when he rode in the Peter Craven Memorial Trophy at Belle Vue.

He was right in the thick of things and led the meeting after winning his first three heats. A final ride win took him straight to the final, a six man race – and how do you choose a gate when there are 5 others in the heat? Anything could have happened in that final but Sam missed out and finished at the back.

There was an outing too for Richie Worrall and he was certainly involved in several exciting heats, even leading Doyle in his final heat, but he generally wasn't in quite the right place at the right time, finishing with just 2 points.

In his first ride in heat 2 Sam faced Monarchs' team mate Richie who made the start, but Sam came through on the inside before the end of lap one.

There was passing in most heats and Sam had to work hard again to subdue Kyle Howarth in heat 6 with the perhaps more fancied Brady Kurtz and Steve Worrall trailing. He had an easier ride in heat 9, a win pretty much from the gate against Kerr, Etheridge and Lawson, riding wide to get grip on a fairly slick surface.

However then came heat 16, up against major contenders Rory Schlein, Dan Bewley and Jason Doyle, and after a poor start off gate 2 Same could not manage a point.

It was important that he should bounce back in his final ride in heat 19, and he did in style, reeling on Jason Crump and going round him to take his score to 12 – second top qualifier for the final.

The straight-to-final men were Jason Doyle (14), Sam Masters (12) and Brady Kurtz (12) with Bewley, Schlein and Lawson coming through the "Last Chance" heat to contest the six-man final.

Doyle was probably the favourite and from the inside gate he made no mistake. Sam may have regretted picking such a wide gate and after a slow start he was never able to find the space to mount an attack.

It looked as though Rory Schlein would finish second but both Dan Bewley and Brady Kurtz came through for the other podium places.

As before at Belle Vue the event was very well live-streamed and this is going to play a big part in the future of the sport.

RESULT: 1 Jason Doyle, 2 Dan Bewley, 3 Brady Kurtz, 4 Richard Lawson, 5 Rory Schlein, 6 Sam Masters