Friday July 27, 2007
BIRMINGHAM skipper Jason Lyons was in top form on Friday night in Scotland with an excellent 16-point score, but it was the Edinburgh Monarchs who came away with the Premier League points courtesy of a 48-44 victory over the Brummies.

The men from Perry Barr took time to adapt to the small Armadale track in the early heats which resulted in them trailing by ten-points after heat 8, but they did stage something of a fight back in the second-half of the meeting to take the match to a last heat decider.

The Monarchs got off to a great start with George Stancl and Derek Sneddon racing to a 5-1 in heat 1 and with the Scottish club following that up with a 4-2 in heat 2 they quickly opened up a 9-3 lead. Emiliano Sanchez and Manuel Hauzinger replied with a 4-2 in heat 4, but another 5-1 from the Edinburgh pair of Sneddon and Stancl in heat 6 put the home side eight-points up at 22-14.

Jason Lyons and Henrik Moller got the Brummies back in the meeting with a 4-2 in heat 7, but a five-pointer from Sneddon and Matt Wethers in heat 8 put Edinburgh ten points in front (29-19).

In an attempt to reduce the arrears Sanchez donned the black and white helmet as a double-point tactical ride in heat 9, but things didn’t quite go to plan. The Argentinean fell unopposed on the second lap and, in the re-run Andrew Tully and Kaj Laukkanen helped themselves to a 4-2 over the lone Brummies rider Lee Smart, which gave the Monarchs a 33-21 lead.

Edinburgh old boy Moller lowered Stancl’s colours with a good win in heat 10 and with Lyons defeating Sneddon for third place, the ensuing 4-2 to the Midlanders reduced the deficit to 35-25. Lyons was straight back out in heat 11 as a tactical substitute on a 15-metre handicap and, although he couldn’t catch race winner Wethers, he passed Edinburgh’s Kalle Katajisto and his Brummies team-mate Ulrich Ostergaard which earned Birmingham a 5-3 advantage.

The Brummies gave the Monarchs a major scare towards the end of the meeting with two quick-fire 4-2’s in heats 12 and 13 and with heat 14 shared, it took the meeting to a last heat decider with Edinburgh just four points in front (45-41).

Unfortunately for Birmingham Sanchez fell again on the second lap in the first running of heat 15 whilst chasing Stancl and was excluded from the re-run. In the re-start Lyons took the chequered flag ahead of Wethers and Stancl, but although it wasn’t enough to take any league points on the night, the Brummies at least leave themselves in a good position regarding the aggregate bonus point for the return match back at Perry Barr in September.

EDINBURGH 48: Matthew Wethers 17+1, George Stancl 10+2, Derek Sneddon 8+1, Kaj Laukkanen 8, Andrew Tully 4+1, Aaron Summers 1, Kalle Katajisto 0

BIRMINGHAM 44: Jason Lyons 16, Emiliano Sanchez 7, Lee Smart 7, Henrik Moller 6+2, Ulrich Ostergaard 6+1, Ben Powell 1, Manuel Hauzinger 1

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