SWINDON Robins persevered through a turbulent meeting to claim a 50-39 victory over Belle Vue Aces at the Abbey Stadium.

An early threat of rain proved nothing to worry about as Swindon Robins welcomed Belle Vue Aces to the Abbey Stadium for the the first leg of the Knockout Cup semi-final, and the hosts were handed an early boost with Bradley Wilson-Dean being deemed fit enough to rid, despite missing Monday’s clash with Poole Pirates with a long-standing wrist problem.

Alun Rossiter drafted in Liam Carr to ride as a guest in place of injured Zach Wajtknecht, while the visitors were dealt a late blow as they announced on social media Craig Cook would not be riding due to ‘unforeseen circumstances’.

The opening heat was the ideal start for the Robins, who claimed a 5-1 heat win after two restarts, former Swindon rider Steve Worrall was disqualified and replaced by Jye Etheridge.

It was third time lucky as Jason Doyle raced clear, with Adam battling hard with Kenneth Bjerre to claim second.

On his return to action, Wilson-Dean raised a cause for concern as he collided with Jack Smith on bend one, however, on the re-run the New Zealander came second behind Carr as Swindon took a 10-2 lead.

The disruption to the meeting continued into the third heat, Tobiasz Musielak was the latest to delay proceedings after he was shown the red light on two occasions, and was then disqualified.

Carr stepped up to take his place, but offered little as the hosts lost their first heat of the evening when David Bellego was unable to catch Max Fricke, while Carr came in at the back of the pack.

With Smith suffering the effects of his earlier crash in the pits, it was announced the meeting would have a delay while the visitor was taken to hospital, as the stadium’s paramedic was joining him, the meeting couldn’t go ahead until they returned.

More than an hour later the meeting resumed and Morris stormed to victory in the fourth, with Carr coming in third after Etheridge was eliminated after he fell on bend one.

Heat five wasn’t so straight forward as Musielak couldn’t keep pace with Bjerre, although the Polish ace and Bellego rode well to mop up the rest of the points.

The races were coming thick and fast after the interval, and in heat six Doyle has to make do with a sluggish start behind Bjerre and the Australian found no way past the visitor.

In the seventh, Morris got caught trying to squeeze through a gap but Fricke soon slammed the door on the Aussie as the Aces picked up a 5-1 heat win.

A heat later Ellis turned in a strong performance from start to finish to restore some of the damage, with a heat win for the home side.

With heat nine already down to three riders, it was then reduced to two as Musielak was excluded after an unsatisfactory start, followed by a fall on the third bend.

The restart was a head-to-head battle between Bellego and Rohan Tungate, and the former came out on top following a patient move in the opening lap.

In the 10th, Doyle stole a march on Fricke, only for the youngster to claw it back and pinch the lead, as the two sides tied another heat, leaving the score 33-26.

With four to go Morris came up with the good to claim a heat win, but Wilson-Dean was unable to capatalise on the performance of his teammate as he trailed behind Bjerre and Worall.

Doyle then showed his class as he blasted past Bjerre, Morris also had a tight battle with the visitor, but was unable to pip him to second place.

In the 14th the Robins came up trumps, Bellego stormed into an early lead and was well supported by Wilson-Dean, who kept Tungate at bay to register a 5-1 heat win, leaving the score at 47-36.

Doyle and Morris were trusted with the honours in the final outing, but neither had the desired effect as Fricke claimed a final heat win, while Morris and Doyle occupied second and third respectively.