Wednesday September 07, 2011
BIRMINGHAM completed their Elite League programme with a seven-point defeat on a tense night at King’s Lynn’s Norfolk Arena.

The Brummies piled the pressure on the home side, who needed to win by seven points to book their place in the play-offs, when they stormed into a 12-6 lead after three races.

But the Stars took credit for their fightback, achieved without Kozza Smith who crashed out of the meeting in horrific fashion in Heat 2.

Smith fell on the third bend and was collected by team-mate Filip Sitera, but the medical bulletins were thankfully much more encouraging as he was taken to hospital conscious and talking.

Claus Vissing and Ulrich Ostergaard took control of the re-run, and their 5-1 was backed up by Ben Barker and Daniel King in the next race to put the Brummies six-up – but the Stars hit back with a stunning ride by Sitera to slice between Vissing and Daniel Nermark on the last bend of Heat 4.

That left the scores tight, with the visitors still two points to the good after seven races, but they were then hit by three successive 5-1s to King’s Lynn, who suddenly went into a ten-point advantage at 35-25.

Guest Scott Nicholls held Niels-Kristian Iversen at bay to win a tactical ride in Heat 11, and the 7-2 in that race was followed up by a 4-2 in the next with King taking his second win of the night.

But the Stars regained control with a 5-1 from Iversen and Kenneth Bjerre in Heat 13, and the Brummies’ chances of a win were ended when Mads Korneliussen switched impressively inside Barker to win the penultimate race.

Brummies could still have spoilt the party to a certain extent, with Lynn needing a 3-3 from the final heat to clinch their play-off place, but although Nicholls and King kept Iversen at the back, Bjerre conjured a rocket start from gate three to complete a paid maximum and start the home side’s celebrations.

Brummies boss Graham Drury said: “It was just unfortunate that we had a couple of riders who had off-nights, and to win these sort of matches you need everyone firing on all cylinders.

“But it was an entertaining meeting, we have to be pleased with the way in which we’ve finished the season, and now we’re looking forward to taking on Coventry in the final matches later this month.”

KING’S LYNN 50: Kenneth Bjerre 14+1, Niels-Kristian Iversen 10, Mads Korneliussen 8+1, Lasse Bjerre 7+1, Olly Allen 6+1, Filip Sitera 5+2, Kozza Smith 0.

BIRMINGHAM 43: Scott Nicholls 12+1, Daniel King 10, Ulrich Ostergaard 8+2, Ben Barker 7+1, Claus Vissing 4, Ales Dryml 1, Daniel Nermark 1.

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