Saturday May 06, 2017
BIRMINGHAM were made to rue a series of errors as they slipped to a narrow 46-44 defeat at Stoke.

It's the first time the Surestop Brummies have lost a regular league fixture since July 2016.

Graham Drury's side found themselves four points down with six heats remaining, but a hat-trick of 4-2s edged the Brummies in front 37-35 after heat 12.

And despite taking the chequered flag in heats 13 and 15, a 5-1 to the Potters in the penultimate race proved a major turning point in the meeting, forcing Birmingham to settle for a consolation league point.

Team boss Graham Drury described it as a frustrating night for his side and has challenged his riders to get back to winning ways when they host King's Lynn on Wednesday.

Said Drury: "It's a bit of a tough one to take because of the position we got ourselves back into but we've only got ourselves to blame.

"We threw a hell of a lot of points away, perhaps seven or eight, and if this was at a higher level I'd be standing here a lot more annoyed than I am right now.

"At the end of the day, our team is full of young, English lads who are developing their careers.

"For the likes of Macauley (Leek) and Kyle (Roberts) this is all totally new to them and they're learning every time they go out.

"As for the rest of the lads, they stepped up to the plate pretty well considering we had to operate rider replacement for Danyon (Hume). While a couple of them are annoyed with one or two of their rides, we need to learn from it and move on to the next one.

"At the end of the day, we must congratulate both teams for putting on an entertaining meeting that went down to the wire and we congratulate Stoke on their win tonight.

"We've come away with another league point and now we look towards the King's Lynn match on Wednesday with another home win the target."

Teenage sensation Jack Parkinson-Blackburn was in breathtaking form once again, dropping just one point to a strong Stoke opposition. It takes his tally to 86 paid 88 from his last five official meetings in the red and yellow racejacket.

Captain Darryl Ritchings picked up three race wins on his way to double figures while Tom Bacon secured impressive back-to-back race wins in the middle of a mixed night for the No.1.

Reserve Layne Cupitt was only denied double figures again after sliding off on a couple of occasions while Macauley Leek and Kyle Roberts will have learnt a lot from the experience.

The Brummies are back in action on Wednesday at Perry Barr when they host the King's Lynn Young Stars.

STOKE 46: Mitchell Davey 12, Tony Atkin 9+2, David Wallinger 8+2, Luke Priest 7+1, Ryan Terry-Daley 5+1, Shaun Tedham 4+1, David Speight 1+1.

BIRMINGHAM 44: Jack Parkinson-Blackburn 17, Darryl Ritchings 10, Tom Bacon 9, Layne Cupitt 8, Kyle Roberts 0, Macauley Leek 0, Danyon Hume R/R.


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