Wednesday September 18, 2013
CHRIS Harris’ welcome upturn in form was the good news for Birmingham arising from their ten-point defeat at King’s Lynn last night.

With top place in the Elite League guaranteed before the trip to Norfolk there was little resting on the Selco Brummies’ final match of the regular campaign, but the visitors kept things tight for much of the evening.

An unwell Harris had scored just one point when the sides met at Perry Barr 48-hours earlier but he showed up much better in the return before fading late-on and was well-backed by Danny King and Ben Barker with Nico Covatti also giving a hard-working display.

It wasn’t a perfect night by any means, with Josh Auty struggling at reserve and Martin Smolinski finding life tough at No.1.

But the Brummies will be stronger against Wolves in the play-offs on Monday with the return of Jason Doyle, who missed the trip to Lynn due to a clashing fixture for his Premier League club Somerset.

King and Barker wiped out an early Brummies deficit when they took advantage of a disqualification for Mads Korneliussen to notch a 5-1 in Heat 3, but the home skipper hit back to partner Richie Worrall to maximum points two races later.

Brummies levelled again as Harris came in as rider-replacement for Doyle and teamed up with Nico Covatti for a 5-1 in Heat 8, and they looked set to go ahead until Stars No.1 Niels-Kristian Iversen produced a majestic ride in Heat 10 to get the better of King and Barker.

Smolinski had no answer to Rory Schlein and Nicklas Porsing in Heat 11 as the home side took the lead once more, and a 4-2 two races later extended their lead to six points.

Brummies needed an advantage from Heat 15 to snatch a league point but Iversen was in control and Schlein went from last to second in the final two laps to delight the home fans.

KING’S LYNN 50: Niels-Kristian Iversen 14, Rory Schlein 12+1, Mads Korneliussen 8, Richie Worrall 7+2, Nicklas Porsing 5+2, Lewis Kerr 3, Lasse Bjerre 1+1.

BIRMINGHAM 40: Ben Barker 10+2, Chris Harris 9+1, Nico Covatti 8+4, Danny King 8+1, Martin Smolinski 5, Josh Auty 0, Jason Doyle r/r.

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