Friday September 14, 2012
BIRMINGHAM were kept waiting in their bid to confirm a play-off place after a narrow 47-43 defeat at Coventry on Friday.

The Selco Brummies put up a valiant effort at Brandon but eventually had to be content with a point, which could yet be all-important - and it now sets up a huge home clash with Poole on Monday.

After a tight meeting, Birmingham had built up a slender six-point lead with only three races remaining, but their opponents were back level by the time the final race arrived.

And in Heat 15 Bjarne Pedersen was passed by Scott Nicholls and Chris Harris, leaving the Brummies agonosingly short of confirming play-off qualification as Lakeside took maximum points over Peterborough.

Pedersen did top score for the Perry Barr outfit along with skipper Danny King who continues to consistently perform. Sebastian Ulamek also enjoyed a tremendous spell mid meeting to end on 8+1, whilst Martin Smolinski was solid at No.2

Reserve Nicolas Covatti again put in a shock performance, this time scoring 6+2 – including a victory over Chris Harris – on his first appearance at the Brandon track.

However, Brummies felt the absences of Josh Auty and Ben Barker and Coventry had a trump card of their own at reserve with Michal Szczepaniak top-scoring.

Brummies remain third in the table, level on points wth Lakeside, with Peterborough two points further adrift. If they avoid defeat at home to either Poole or Swindon next week, they will definitely make the play-offs.

Should the Brummies lose both meetings, they need to ensure that the aggregate margin of defeat does not drop them behind Lakeside on race points difference. The Hammers have completed their fixtures and the Brummies currently have an advantage of 17 race points.

To further complicate matters, Brummies would still be safe with two defeats should Peterborough fail to take at least two points from away trips to Belle Vue and Coventry - the current bottom two clubs.

Coventry 47: Michal Szczepaniak 11+1, Scott Nicholls 11, Chris Harris 9+1, Edward Kennett 8+2, Kenni Larsen 6+2, Leigh Lanham 2, Chris Schramm 0

Birmingham 43: Bjarne Pedersen 10, Daniel King 10, Sebastian Ulamek 8+2, Nicolas Covatti 6+2, Martin Smolinski 6+2, Sam Masters 3, Ricky Ashworth R/R

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