Friday October 12, 2012
BIRMINGHAM will go into next Thursday’s Knockout Cup semi-final 2nd leg with a six-point deficit to make up after a 51-45 defeat at Coventry.

Despite a 5-1 from Nicolas Covatti and Martin Smolinski in Heat 2, the Selco Brummies found themselves eight-points behind with as many races gone.

Yet the impressive Josh Auty triumphed over Scott Nicholls in the first match race under the new KO Cup format to close the gap to five.

Coventry did re-extend their advantage in the closing stages to move eleven ahead, but Ben Barker defeated Chris Harris in the second one-on-one outing to claw his side back within eight, before leading a final race 4-2.

Auty and Barker combined for twenty-four points to lead the charge, whilst reserves Smolinski and Covatti were both impressive.

Danny King and Sebastian Ulamek did struggle from No.1 and 5 respectively, but those all-important match race triumphs from their team-mates ensured Birmingham will stand a good chance of extending their season and making the Cup final.

Brummies team boss Phil Morris said: “The boys did fairly well considering we had a few ups and downs. Some of them had some good rides and bad rides but in general it was a decent night.

“We made it a bit closer with having the two match races where Josh beat Scott Nicholls and Ben beat Bomber (Chris Harris), which was really good.

“We managed to keep it close enough to make it interesting now I think.”

COVENTRY 51: Scott Nicholls 12, Aaron Summers 9+1, Chris Harris 8+1, Edward Kennett 8, Michal Szczepaniak 7, Kenni Larsen 4+2, Josef Franc 3.

BIRMINGHAM 45: Josh Auty 13+1, Ben Barker 11, Martin Smolinski 8+1, Nicolas Covatti 6, Danny King 5, Sebastian Ulamek 2+1, Bjarne Pedersen R/R.

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