Wednesday October 07, 2015
BIRMINGHAM put up a brave fight in their Gold Cup Final first leg but were defeated 47-43 at home to Eastbourne.

The Surestop Brummies always faced an uphill task without stars Zach Wajtknecht and Sam Chapman, but a courageous effort wasn't to be enough for the Perry Barr outfit.

A mid-meeting struggle saw the Brummies on the receiving end of three 5-1's in five heats proved a defining period for Graham Drury's men.

The Brummies showed good character to finish the tie off with three heat advantages of their own as they travel to Arlington on Saturday with a four-point deficit to make up.

Said Drury: "Eastbourne are on a great run at the minute and you have to give them full credit.

"We battled back well but I just felt we were a little bit flat tonight.

"Whether it was the euphoria of already winning the league or whether it was having a few riders missing I don't quite know but we grouped together and pulled the tie closer in the closing stages.

"We'll go to Eastbourne on Saturday and give it everything we've got I can assure you of that."

Adam Ellis rounded off his spectacular season at Perry Barr with his tenth full maximum of the season and a run of seventeen successive race wins.

Tom Perry played a true captain's role again dropping just two points to the opposition and pulling off some fine manoeuvres once again.

Jack Smith impressed at reserve and showed plenty of encouraging signs once again.

Guest Danny Ayres gave it 100% and rode much harder than his points suggest while Adam Kirby and Ben Basford both endured tough nights.

BIRMINGHAM 43: Adam Ellis 15, Tom Perry 14+2, Jack Smith 7+1, Danny Ayres 5, Adam Kirby 2, Ben Basford 0, Sam Chapman R/R.

EASTBOURNE 47: Georgie Wood 12, Marc Owen 10, Ben Hopwood 8, Richard Andrews 6+3, Bradley Wilson-Dean 5+2, Daniel Spiller 3+1, Kelsey Dugard 3.

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