Sunday April 24, 2016
BIRMINGHAM booked their place in the next round of the Knockout Cup with a dominant 52-37 victory at Rye House.

The Surestop Brummies were already major favourites to progress as they entered the second leg at Hoddesdon with a 22-point advantage which they secured at Perry Barr earlier this month.

The staggering 108-71 aggregate scoreline continued what has been a remarkable start to the campaign for Graham Drury’s side as they secured a superb seventh straight win.

Said Drury: “Even I have to admit, I knew this team were going to be something special, but not even I thought we’d get off to the start that we have done!

“We haven’t got a single weak link in our line-up and the confidence and the atmosphere around the group right now is unbelievable.

“Being without our top two of Zach (Wajtknecht) and Tom (Perry) due to Premier League commitments, we expected this to be our toughest test so far.

“But I have to say, everyone pulled together so well and a big thanks have to go to our two guests in Luke Bowen and Ben Hopwood.

“While I was highly delighted with all of our riders, I was particularly pleased for Jack Smith.

“He’s been a bit down in the dumps of late but today he came to a track that he’d never raced competitively on before and joint top scored for the team.

“That shows his potential and character and hopefully that sets him on the right track again now.

“We’ve got a small break now until we take on Kent next Wednesday (May 4), but I urge our supporters to keep their eyes out for some exciting news which we hope to be in a position to reveal over the next few days.”

Smith bagged the highest score of his short career so far as he dropped just one point to an opposition rider in his final outing.

Bowen stood in superbly for Perry as the Hoddesdon track specialist covered superbly for the Brummies’ skipper.

Danyon Hume continued his fine form securing two race wins while Darryl Ritchings provided yet another solid contribution to the scores.

Jack Parkinson-Blackburn caught the eye once again at reserve while Tom Bacon and Ben Hopwood rode much harder than their points suggest.

RYE HOUSE 37: Ben Morley 13, Robert Branford, 12+1, Luke Priest 10, Macauley Leek 2, Harvie Banks 0, Connor Locke 0, George Hunter R/R.

BRUMMIES 52: Jack Smith 10+1, Luke Bowen 10+1, Danyon Hume 9+1, Darryl Ritchings 8, Jack Parkinson-Blackburn 7+2, Tom Bacon 4+3, Ben Hopwood 4+1.

Picture: IAN BUSH

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