Monday October 01, 2012
BIRMINGHAM’S hopes of reaching the Elite League Grand Final are all but over after a shattering 55-35 defeat by Swindon at Perry Barr.

And Selco Brummies boss Phil Morris admitted he was ‘devastated’ after seeing his side collapse under a Swindon onslaught.

It means the return in Wiltshire on Thursday appears to be a formality for the Robins with the winners facing Poole in the final.

Morris, who was visibly angry when facing the media, said: “We are devastated. Simple as.

“We were outclassed from top to bottom and the better team won. I’m not going to offer any excuses and I’m not happy about what I’ve seen from my riders.”

In front of a bumper Perry Barr crowd, the hosts made a sluggish start and were 10 behind after only four races.

They failed to recover, before a late surge from the visitors left them needing to overcome a 20 point deficit in the return leg at Blunsdon on Thursday to advance to the final.

Martin Smolinski did a good job at reserve, but there was a lack of strength in depth against a clinical Swindon side.

Brummies provided only three race winners all evening in what was a sluggish display in front of the Sky cameras.

BIRMINGHAM 35: Martin Smolinski 9+3, Ben Barker 9, Sebastian Ulamek 7, Bjarne Pedersen 5, Danny King 3, Josh Auty 2+1, Nicolas Covatti 0.

SWINDON 55: Peter Kildemand 14+1, Troy Batchelor 13+1, Jason Doyle 9+1, Hans Andersen 8+1, Dakota North 5+1, Nick Morris 5, Simon Stead 1+1.

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