Thursday July 26, 2007
BIRMINGHAM withstood a mid-meeting fightback from the Redcar Bears to secure their first Premier League away win of the season, with a 53-42 victory in Teeside on Thursday evening.

The track had soaked up a fair amount of rain prior to the start of the meeting, which made racing conditions tricky early on, but Birmingham kept their composure and nerve throughout the evening’s proceedings to pick up a valuable and well-deserved victory, in what was an excellent all-round team performance.

There was nothing to choose between the two teams early on with the scores level after four races, but the Brummies hit the front with a 4-2 from Ulrich Ostergaard and Ben Powell in heat 5. However some concern was being raised about the weather-beaten track, so some grading was required before racing could resume.

After the short break Henrik Moller and Jason Lyons kept their heads to increase the Brummies advantage to 24-18 with a hard-fought 5-1 over Matt Tresarrieu and Dan Giffard in heat 7. Five more from Powell and Manuel Hauzinger in heat 8 made it 29-19, which put the Midlanders into what looked to be an unassailable lead at the half-way stage of the evening.

Redcar attempted to reduce the arrears with James Grieves going out in heat 9 for double points, but he had to settle for second place behind Emiliano Sanchez, but with his Bears team-mate Chris Kerr in third place the ensuing 5-3 cut the deficit to 32-24.

Tresarrieu went off a 15-metre handicap in the pursuit of double points in heat 10 and Redcar soon reaped the benefits. Lyons fell on the first bend and Tresarrieu took full-advantage to quickly pass Moller, where the in-form Frenchman linked up with Bears skipper Gary Havelock for an 8-1. This cut the Brummies lead to just a single point (33-32) with five races remaining.

Birmingham, however, immediately bounced back with a 4-2 from Ostergaard and Powell in heat 11 and Lyons and Smart made it 41-36 with a 4-2 in heat 12, after Smart had passed Giffard on the third lap for the vital third place point.

Heat 13 was shared, but the Brummies wrapped up the league points with a super 5-1 in heat 14 from Smart and Moller over Bears duo Kerr and Giffard. Ostergaard and Lyons finished off the night with a 4-2 in heat 15.

The victory will give the men from Perry Barr a tremendous boost as they travel to Edinburgh on Friday night and then on Sunday evening it’s the big one when the Brummies host the high-flying Kings Lynn Stars for the first leg of their Premier Trophy Final.

REDCAR 42: Mathieu Tresarrieu 17, James Grieves 10, Gary Havelock 8+1, Chris Kerr 3+2, Daniel Giffard 2, Shane Waldron 1+1, Simon Lambert 1

BIRMINGHAM 52: Ulrich Ostergaard 12+1, Jason Lyons 9+1, Lee Smart 9, Emiliano Sanchez 7+2, Ben Powell 7, Henrik Moller 6+1, Manuel Hauzinger 3+2

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