AN intense night of racing saw Wolverhampton edge out reigning Premiership champions Belle Vue 47-43 after a closely contested battle in the Black Country.
But after their strong performance against the Wolves in Manchester, the ATPI Aces were still able to claim the aggregate bonus point with an 80-100 victory overall.
The two sides locked horns at Monmore Green with the home team taking the early lead out of the gate, but the visitors remained hot on their tail as the evening developed.
After being four points down in Heat 6, their efforts paid off a race later when Jaimon Lidsey and Charles Wright teamed up for a 5-1 to level the scores at 21 apiece.
Two subsequent, maximum heats advantages to the ATPI Aces in Heats 9 and 10 put further pressure on the Wolves as they extended their lead to six points.
But disaster struck in Heat 11 after Dan Bewley became unsettled, high-sided and clouted Zach Cook on the fourth turn with both riders coming down and major damage sustained to the fence.
Thankfully, both were able to walk away from the incident, and things boiled down to a last-heat decider for the reigning champions.
But after finding themselves on the wrong side of a 4-2, they had to settle for second best on the night.
Skipper Brady Kurtz top scored for Belle Vue with 10+1 while Jaimon Lidsey added an impressive 10 and Tom Brennan contributed 9 from a whopping seven rides.
Kurtz said: “Wolves is always a tough place to go no matter what and to be honest, we can be satisfied that we were at least successful in defending the aggregate bonus.
“But it just came down to some really bad luck in the latter stages that we couldn’t finish the job.
“Losing Dan in Heat 11 was a massive blow for us. It was just a racing incident and the fact that he was able to walk away, and Zach [Cook] too, was a big relief.
“Then both Charles [Wright] and Jaimon having bike problems in both their final rides compounded the damage but we kept the pressure on right to the end.
“There were a lot of positives to take from tonight. Connor [Bailey] looked a lot better than his scores suggest and right up until Dan’s crash we were winning the meeting.
“Had we been at full strength going into heat 15 I believe we could’ve won, and this result just proves that we can be just as strong around here as Wolves are.
The ATPI Aces head to Ipswich this Thursday, July 13 for another intensive clash with the witches at Foxhall, tapes up at 7:30pm.
RESULT – WOLVERHAMPTON V BELLE VUE – MONDAY, JULY 10 @ 7:30PM [P2]
Wolverhampton ‘Parrys International’ Wolves 47: Sam Masters 9+1, Rory Schlein 9+1, Steve Worrall 8+1, Ryan Douglas 8, Leon Flint 7+1, Zach Cook 6+1, Luke Becker r/r.
Belle Vue ‘ATPI’ Aces 43: Brady Kurtz 10+1, Jaimon Lidsey 10, Tom Brennan 9, Charles Wright 5+2, Dan Bewley 5, Norick Blodorn 4+1, Connor Bailey 0
Belle Vue Winn 100-80 on aggregate.
Image: Ian Charles