Wednesday September 07, 2016
BIRMINGHAM will take an eight-point lead into the away leg of their Knockout Cup semi-final tie against Kent after a 49-41 win at Perry Barr.

It was a determined, solid performance from the Surestop Brummies who had to dig deep in another fascinating contest against the Kings.

The visitors opened up an early four point lead with a 5-1 in heat one but the Brummies drew level by heat six.

The hosts edged in front for the first time in heat nine before putting in a battling second half showing, including a crucial 5-1 in heat 14, to ensure they head to Central Park on Monday with a lead to defend.

Team manager Graham Drury said: "Conceding a 5-1 in the first wasn't ideal but I was never too worried because there was still 14 heats to turn it around.

"Our overall performance was very professional and we're more than pleased to come away with an eight point lead.

"As I said prior to the start of the meeting though, tonight is only half time - there's still a second leg and 15 more races to go and we've still got a job to do.

"Credit to both sets of riders who all played their part in another great contest between two very entertaining teams."

Tom Perry and Tom Bacon both bagged three wins apiece on their way to joint top scoring for the Brummies, with the latter awarded the Ductair Electrics Ltd Rider of the Night Award after another impressive performance at No.4.

With Jack Parkinson-Blackburn ruled out through illness, Jack Smith stepped up to the plate superbly at reserve to bag paid double figures for a third consecutive home meeting.

Danyon Hume recovered from a spill in his first ride to register two race wins while Ellis Perks had a steady night on his way to five points.

Darryl Ritchings battled through the meeting after crashing at the Isle of Wight on Tuesday while guest reserve Lee Geary was certainly on the pace, and the two points he managed could prove to be important in the final context of the tie.

The Brummies will be looking to add to their unbeaten record at Kent in 2016 when they travel to Sittingbourne on Monday for the all important second leg (6.30).

BIRMINGHAM 49: Tom Bacon 11, Tom Perry 11, Jack Smith 9+1, Danyon Hume 7+1, Ellis Perks 5, Darryl Ritchings 4+1, Lee Geary 2+1.

KENT 41: Danny Ayres 12+1, James Shanes 11, Luke Bowen 10, Jack Thomas 5+2, Danno Verge 3, Luke Clifton 0, David Mason R/R.

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