Sunday July 16, 2017
PATCHED-UP Birmingham suffered a second half collapse as they were eventually well beaten 54-36 at Mildenhall.

The Surestop Brummies were within touching distance of the Fen Tigers mid-meeting but conceded five heat advantages in the final seven races on a frustrating afternoon at West Row.

With Tom Bacon on Championship duty with Peterborough and David Mason and Kyle Roberts ruled out through injury, Birmingham were forced into another late change when Layne Cupitt pulled out of the fixture due to a chest infection.

But on an afternoon where the Brummies took the chequered flag on just five occasions, four of those courtesy of teen reserve Taylor Hampshire, team boss Graham Drury pulled no punches in his reaction.

"I'd firstly like to apologise to the paying public for having to use a side that included three guests as well as rider replacement," Drury said.

"People who know me will know that something like that is one of my pet hates about this sport - but unfortunately on this occasion there wasn't much we could do about it.

"Secondly I'd like to apologise to our travelling supporters because, as always, they came in large numbers today and we let them down immensely.

"The riders couldn't find a set-up to suit them, their gating was well below par and they just weren't at the races.

"But take nothing away from Mildenhall, they've built a very strong team this year and it's going to take something exceptional to stop them at their own place from here on in.

"No matter what the scoreline or performance, I always try and take a positive or two. And while today there were very few, I thought Taylor Hampshire was tremendous again and thank goodness he was!

"I hope the lads go away, learn from today and put it behind them.

"Thankfully they've got a chance to rectify things and get back on the winning path in just a few days time when we host Stoke at Perry Barr on Wednesday."

MILDENHALL 54: Danny Halsey 15, Connor Mountain 12+3, Jon Armstrong 10, Jordan Jenkins 9+2, Matt Marson 7+2, Danno Verge 1, Kean Dicken 0.

BIRMINGHAM 36: Taylor Hampshire 13, Connor Coles 7+1, Jack Parkinson-Blackburn 5, Luke Priest 4+1, Liam Carr 4, Lewis Whitmore 3+1, Layne Cupitt R/R.


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