Belle Vue are comfortably through to the Premiership KOC semi-finals after completing a 103-77 aggregate defeat of Wolverhampton, while claiming a 44-46 second leg win at Monmore Green.
It was far from the start the Rentruck Aces were looking for, but nonetheless the start they expected from the Wolves boys, as their hosts took control of proceedings early doors.
But while the Black Country outfit appeared the stronger side, they only managed to recover six of the 24-point advantage held by the visiting Mancunians by the half-way stage of the meeting.
And after Heat 11 the Rentruck Aces’ pairing of Craig Cook and Jason Garrity drew the match at 33 points apiece with four races to go, and ensured Belle Vue could not be caught on aggregate.
The rest was history as the Parrys International Wolves fought for pride in the closing stages, only to have the Rentruck Aces breathing down their necks and snatching the win at the eleventh hour.
Team boss Mark Lemon said: “We came to Wolverhampton with a different strategy this time. We knew we were in a favourable position ahead of time but the boys were not at all complacent.
“Wolves are a strong team at home and we fully expected resistance from them, so to have come away with both the aggregate win and the win on the night is a phenomenal achievement.
“All the guys made valuable contributions to the result. I was particularly pleased for Damian [Dróżdż] because these smaller tracks are his kryptonite and he was extremely impressive.
“And though we knew we were safe after Heat 11, the boys continued to push on. They could sense the potential for the win and wanted to finish the job, and they delivered superbly.”
Words: Hayley Bromley,Images: Ian Charles
The Rentruck Aces next head south to Rye House on Wednesday, June 20, to resume their Premiership campaign while the Cool Running Colts journey to Birmingham the same night.
National League action then returns to Manchester on Friday, June 22 when the Brummies headed to the NSS, with Poole next in line to face the Rentruck Aces at home on June 25.
Tickets for both home meetings are now available online at www.bellevueaces.co and at the stadium box office on race night.