Belle Vue Aces stole crucial points away from home as they drew 45-45 with Wolverhampton Wolves in a night of high drama at Monmore.
In a tense final heat, Matej Zagar and Scott Nicholls relegated world champion Tai Woffinden to third place as the Aces claimed a valuable two points on the road.
Aces lead rider Zagar led from the front with 12 points, while a paid 13 from Nicholls saw the visitors clinch an unlikely draw at Monmore, leaving the Wolves with a single point.
Woffinden enjoyed a strong start to the evening and was unbeaten by Belle Vue riders until the 10th heat, where he finished an uncharacteristic last and even the spirited efforts of Ricky Wells (10) could not prevent the Aces from evening the scores.
Wolves stormed into the lead with a Jacob Thorrsell and Woffinden one-two in the opening heat of the night, before Ashley Morris extended their advantage to six.
However, the hosts were unable to fully assert their authority on the tie as Michael Palm-Toft and Zagar claimed heat wins to reduce Belle Vue’s arrears to four.
Having failed to take advantage of earlier Wolves errors, the Aces paid the price themselves as the hosts regained a six-point lead in heat eight.
Jason Attwood’s team refused to lie down and earned crucial points to close the gap as Nicholls raced to victory in heat 10, with Thorssell only just holding off Aces captain Craig Cook as Woffinden finished an unfamiliar fourth on his home track.
The Belle Vue resistance was exemplified in heat 12 as Dane Palm-Toft claimed a second win of the night to bring the Aces back within four, while Scott Nielsen was narrowly edged out of second by Morris as two of Britain’s most promising speedway talents went wheel-to-wheel, leaving Swede Thorssell to bring up the rear.
Morris and Nielsen duelled once more in the penultimate heat of the meeting but despite the Wolves rider being excluded the Aces were unable reduce their deficit, leaving them in need of a final heat one-two to draw level.
After Zagar took the gate, Nicholls cut back on the second bend to take Woffinden down the back straight as the Aces left the hosts with a solitary point from a thrilling night of Elite League action.
The draw moves the Aces within a point of Peter Adams’ team in sixth and the Wolves will be left to lament costly errors as they failed to make their home advantage pay.