Monday May 14, 2012
BIRMINGHAM gave a fully professional performance to bank maximum points at struggling Belle Vue and rocket up the Elite League table.

With the sport in mourning following the death of Lee Richardson only 24 hours earlier, Monday’s meeting at Kirkmanshulme Lane was never going to be an easy night for anyone concerned.

And although the fact that the home side’s No.1 Rory Schlein crashed out of the meeting in the first race made the Selco Brummies’ task much easier, Schlein being taken to hospital with an ankle injury was the last thing anyone wanted to see.

The Brummies though, got their job done in an efficient manner despite tricky conditions caused by mid-meeting rain, and Josh Auty – a pre-match injury doubt – enjoyed a terrific night with five wins from his seven outings.

Martin Smolinski also gave his best performance in Birmingham colours, earning a nomination for Heat 15 and winning that race to complete a paid-13 haul.

Brummies had broken the Aces’ resistance with back-to-back 5-1s in Heats 11 and 12, the first through Smolinski and Bjarne Pedersen, and the second coming when Auty and skipper Danny King saw off Belle Vue’s Artur Mroczka when the Pole was going for double-points.

Team boss Phil Morris said: “It’s a massive result for us in what’s a tough time for everyone, and we hope Rory isn’t too badly hurt.

“We knew we had to take advantage and we hit Belle Vue hard at the end which we needed to do because every point could be important at the end of the season.”

BELLE VUE 33: Claus Vissing 9+2, Artur Mroczka 8, Ulrich Ostergaard 7, Ales Dryml 6, Linus Eklof 2+1, Patrick Hougaard 1+1, Rory Schlein 0.

BIRMINGHAM 57: Josh Auty 17, Martin Smolinski 11+2, Bjarne Pedersen 9, Danny King 8+1, Ben Barker 7+1, Tomasz Piszcz 3, Sebastian Ulamek 2+1.

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