Wednesday April 06, 2016
BIRMINGHAM got their Knockout Cup venture off to a flying start with a 56-34 victory over Rye House.

The Surestop Brummies sealed an impressive six maximum heat advantages to help them secure a 22-point first leg lead.

Team manager Graham Drury was encouraged by his side's performance once again and is confident they can defend their advantage in the return leg at Hoddesdon on Sunday, April 24.

Said Drury: "I set the lads a 20-point lead target, they achieved that by two extra so I'm more than happy once again.

"22-points is a lot for any team to catch up with so it does take a lot of pressure off the second leg. But we won't be too complacent; we will go to Rye House at the end of the month, ride sensibly and do what we can to make sure we get safely through to the next round.

"There were no weak links for a second meeting running, everyone got at least one paid win so I'm over the moon for them all really.

"I have to give the track staff and both sets of riders credit. We had a torrential downpour about an hour before the meeting but none of them whinged; they were really keen to get out there and get the meeting done.

"We've got a really important, busy period coming up so this is another confidence boosting result and we should be in for anther good match up against Buxton next Wednesday."

Danyon Hume deservedly picked up the Ductair Ltd Rider of the Night award after picking up three heat wins on his way to top scoring for the Brummies.

Zach Wajtknecht almost bagged a paid maximum on his first appearance for the club in 2016, but was denied after mechanical gremlins caused an awkward tumble in the final race of the evening.

Darryl Ritchings finished off with back-to-back race wins, pulling off the individual ride of the night to squeeze past Rye House skipper Luke Priest in Heat 14.

Jack Parkinson-Blackburn, Tom Perry and Tom Bacon all contributed seven points a-piece while Jack Smith enjoyed another successful night at Perry Barr despite a heavy landing after spinning off in his final outing.

NATIONAL LEAGUE KO CUP, 1st round 1st leg
BIRMINGHAM 56: Danyon Hume 11, Zach Wajtknecht 10+2, Darryl Ritchings 8, Jack Parkinson-Blackburn 7+4, Tom Bacon 7+1, Tom Perry 7+1, Jack Smith 6+1.
RYE HOUSE 34: Luke Priest 12, Ben Hopwood 9, Ben Morley 7+2, Harvie Banks 3+1, Sam Woods 3, Connor Locke 0, George Hunter R/R.


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