Monday May 27, 2013
BIRMINGHAM completed a memorable Midlands Derby double with a 49-41 victory over local rivals Wolverhampton.

On a night of breathtaking action at Monmore Green, Brummies scored their second win in a week against their neighbours to move up to second in the Elite League table.

A battling performance saw the Perry Barr outfit take their first win at the venue since 1979 and condemn their table-topping opponents to their first home defeat of the 2013 season.

Grand Prix men Fredrik Lindgren and Tai Woffinden starred for the hosts - accounting for seven race wins and 26 points - yet as expected it was in the lower order where Birmingham had the edge.

Reserves Martin Smolinski and Nico Covatti both performed well - contributing 18+1 between them - with the later earning a well-deserved heat fifteen appearance.

In the middle order, skipper Danny King and Josh Auty notched 9+1 and 5+3 respectively to comfortably outscore their Wolves counterparts.

Despite the magnitude of opposition against them, Chris Harris and Jason Doyle also made very useful contributions from the No.1 and 5 positions to complete a strong team performance all around from the Perry Barr outfit.

Birmingham's night got off to the worst possible start as Wolves struck a 5-1 in the opening race of the night, yet they responded perfectly to take a narrow lead by the end of heat three.

When Josh Auty came out on top following a scintillating battle with Ricky Wells in heat six, it gave Birmingham their second 5-1 of the night to move four clear of their rivals.

The reserves clashed for the second time in heat eight with Birmingham extending their advantage to six as Martin Smolinski edged ahead of Ludvig Lindgren to take victory on the run to the line whilst Nico Covatti recovered from a huge moment on the third lap to take third place.

After a first bend spill which saw Brummies man Josh Auty excluded in heat ten, Wolves struck a 4-2 thanks to a rampant win for British Champion Tai Woffinden to reduce the deficit again.

Yet a slice of fortune fell to the visitors as an engine failure for Ricky Wells gifted them a heat 12 maximum to give them some breathing space entering the closing stages.

No.1 Chris Harris then pulled off arguably his best ride in Brummies colours to defeat the previously unbeaten Lindgren and Woffinden to all but seal an away win for his side.

It was left to Smolinski and Covatti to put the icing on the cake, as they capitalised on an Adam Skornicki exclusion to take a 5-1 in the penultimate race and give their side all four points.

WOLVERHAMPTON 41. Tai Woffinden 13+1, Fredrik Lindgren 13+1, Ludvig Lindgren 6, Ricky Wells 5+1, Adam Skornicki 2+1, Jacob Thorssell 2

BIRMINGHAM 49: Martin Smolinski 12, Chris Harris 9+1, Danny King 9+1, Jason Doyle 8+1, Nico Covatti 6+1, Josh Auty 5+3

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