Thursday June 13, 2013
BIRMINGHAM fired another timely reminder to their Elite League rivals with a brilliant draw at Poole on Thursday.

But they will be left wondering what could have been after they let a ten-point lead slip in the closing stages against a revamped Pirates side.

After four consecutive victories, the Perry Barr outfit looked set to extend their winning record at the halfway stage – but in the end they could be considered fortunate to leave with a draw after withstanding a spirited Poole fightback.

And team boss Phil Morris was feeling mixed emotions after the meeting.

He said: “It’s a bit of a strange one really – obviously we’re happy to get two points but we’re a little disappointed not to get the win on the night after being ten points up.

“It’s a bit frustrating but we’ve got to be happy to go to a place like Poole when they are near enough at full strength and take a point.”

A 5-1 from Jason Doyle and guesting reserve Richie Worrall, plus further heat advantages courtesy of Ben Barker and Danny King, gave Brummies a six-point lead within the opening five races before Martin Smolinski and Chris Harris combined to give the visitors a ten-point advantage after seven outings.

The impressive Doyle took his second victory of the night to limit the effects of a Przemyslaw Pawlicki tactical ride in heat nine – yet back-to-back Poole maximums in heats 12 and 13 set up a nervy finale.

With the side’s level heading into heat 15, Barker and Harris were left with a tough task against world champion Chris Holder and the quick Pawlicki – yet they packed in the minor places behind Holder to ensure Birmingham left with two points.

Barker and Harris both continued their improved form with good performances, while Aussie star Doyle notched an impressive tally from the tough No.5 position against his former club.

German ace Smolinski also put in a good display from the main body – while reserves Nico Covatti and Worrall made solid contributions.

Yet skipper King struggled to make an impact from the No.1 race jacket against a powerhouse Pirates side – and with Birmingham providing only six race winners they lacked the necessary firepower to edge victory.

POOLE 46: Chris Holder 14, Przemyslaw Pawlicki 12, Maciej Janowski 7+2, Thomas H Jonasson 6+1, Rohan Tungate 4, Dawid Stachyra 3, Robert Miskowiak R/R

BIRMINGHAM 46: Ben Barker 12, Martin Smolinski 8, Jason Doyle 8, Chris Harris 7+3, Richie Worrall 4+3, Nicolas Covatti 4+1, Danny King 3

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