Monday August 08, 2011
BIRMINGHAM will be left wondering what might have been after a dramatic 45-44 Elite League defeat at Belle Vue on Monday night.

The Brummies looked to be heading for victory as they led by four-points going into the penultimate race, but a late fightback by the Manchester side saw them snatch victory by the narrowest of margins in the final race.

They will take some consolation from leaving Manchester with one league point, but it was a case of so near but yet so far as the only time they were behind was after Heat 15.

That said there were plenty of positives to take from the match as Daniel Nermark produced one of his best away performances of the season with a 12-point haul from his five rides. Krzysztof Kasprzak and Claus Vissing also rode well for their respective 9+1 and 9 scores.

There was never more than four-points separating the two teams all night with early 4-2s putting Birmingham 14-10 ahead, but Aces quickly drew level with a maximum from Patrick Hougaard and GP star Chris Harris in Heat 6.

But back came the Brummies with Nermark and Ulrich Ostergaard replying with a 4-2 in Heat 7 and their lead became 32-28 when the same two riders repeated the feat in a hard-fought Heat 10.

Vissing and Kasprzak followed home race winner Rory Schlein in race 11, but the impressive Nermark and Vissing then put the Brummies seemingly within touching distance of victory with a 4-2 in Heat 12.

But it was not to be as the Manchester side drew level with a Charlie Gjedde and Ricky Kling maximum in Heat 14, leaving the two teams to sweat it out in the final race of the night.

And that’s where Brummies brave effort ended as Aces pair Gjedde and Schlein shot to the front ahead of Nermark and Kasprzak, with the latter falling on the opening lap. Schlein shed a chain later in the race, but Gjedde held on for the race win ahead of Nermark with the resulting 3-2 giving the Aces the victory by the most slender of margins.

BELLE VUE 45: Charlie Gjedde 12, Rory Schlein 10, Patrick Hougaard 7+1, Chris Harris 7+1, Craig Cook 4+2, Ricky Kling 4+1, Lukasz Jankowski 1+1

BIRMINGHAM 44: Daniel Nermark 12, Krzysztof Kasprzak 9+1, Claus Vissing 9, Ulrich Ostergaard 5, Daniel King 5, Joe Screen 3, Ales Dryml 1+1

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