Elite League final: Belle Vue Aces look to end 23-year wait

Mark Lemon
Mark Lemon (left) returned for a second spell as team manager in 2014

Belle Vue Aces team manager Mark Lemon hopes to end a 23-year wait between winning speedway league titles.

The Aces beat Lakeside Hammers 112-69 on aggregate to win their semi-final and set up an Elite League final against Wolverhampton Wolves.

The Manchester-based club have not won the league since 1993, finishing second last year, in 2005 and 1998.

"We're commonly known around the world as the famous Belle Vue Aces," Lemon told BBC Sport.

"But there has not really been much to really rave on lately and it's been 23 years since the Aces won the league.

"It's been a long drought and even in the last 10 years we haven't been remotely close apart from last year. If we did it we could be compared to the by-gone eras of the 1960s and 1970s and put the Aces back up on the mantelpiece where they should be."

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Belle Vue's opening night ends early

The season started in disruptive fashion for Belle Vue as they had to cancel the opening night of their new home, the £8m National Speedway Stadium.

They were forced to postpone four subsequent fixtures before finally starting life at the stadium with a 50-40 loss to Swindon 54 days after it was due to open.

"It's been a colossal effort to be fair," continued Lemon.

"Going back to early March it was pretty dire with the state of the track, and with the opening night it felt like we were never going to recover from it.

"We got our heads down, got everything sorted out and we've now probably got the best race track in the world, a great new stadium and the boys have really come on."

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