Friday March 29, 2013
POPULAR German World Cup rider Martin Smolinski was the Birmingham hero as they swept to a stunning win at neighbours Coventry last night.

Smolinski, a former Bees rider, haunted his former club with a string of commanding rides to secure four Elite League points for Phil Morris' side.

But the meeting finished late with ex-Brummie Adam Roynon suffering yet another injury blow in Heat 14.

Roynon was clipped by a blameless Josh Auty, and after a lengthy delay he was given a police escort to hospital for full checks, having suffered severe concussion.

Krzysztof Kasprzak, Birmingham's unreliable No.1 in 2011, started well for Coventry by trapping from the outside gate to win Heat 1, but Aaron Summers was passed by the Brummies duo as the visitors shared the race.

And the Perry Barr side took early control in the next two races with a 5-1 and a 4-2 as Coventry's new Poles showed their lack of track time.

Coventry's Mat Szczepaniak shot away to win Heat 4 with skipper Scott Nicholls passing both Barker and Nico Covatti on the first lap to set up Bees' first 5-1 of the night.

That should have been immediately followed up in the next race only for Roynon to grind to a halt when set for a notable maximum over Harris and Josh Auty - but Grzegorz Zengota did take an excellent win.

And Bees did move in front at the halfway stage with successive 4-2s, Kasprzak edging out Barker for third in Heat 6 on the line, and Nicholls rounding Danny King in fine style to win the next.

But the match immediately swung the Brummies' way thanks to a Heat 8 5-1, fast starting from King and Covatti leaving the Bees trailing, and they then went four-up as Smolinski underlined their reserve strength with a win over Zengota as Roynon suffered a further loss of power.

A proactive change from Brummies boss Phil Morris worked a treat for the visitors in Heat 10, Smolinski coming in for Auty and taking a shock win with Kasprzak having to work overtime to pass King for second.

And Smolinski made it a stunning hat-trick in Heat 11, preventing any damage for his team as Harris was sent to the back in a furious scrap with Nicholls.

COVENTRY 41: Scott Nicholls 12+1, Krzysztof Kasprzak 7+1, Grzegorz Zengota 7, Michal Szczepaniak 5+1, Mateusz Szczepaniak 4+1, Aaron Summers 4, Adam Roynon 2.

BIRMINGHAM 49: Martin Smolinski 19+1, Danny King 13+1, Nico Covatti 6+1, Chris Harris 5+1, Josh Auty 4, Ben Barker 2+1, Jason Doyle R/R.

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