Friday September 15, 2017
BIRMINGHAM boss Graham Drury admits officials were right to abandon their final meeting of the season which saw them slip to a 34-25 defeat at Plymouth.

Deteriorating conditions caused by rain saw the fixture ended after Ten Heats, with the result standing.

It means the Surestop Brummies will surrender their National League title, after winning it for the past two years, with a top four spot now beyond them.

Drury was disappointed the meeting at the St Boniface Arena couldn't be completed but reiterated the importance of rider safety.

"Of course we're bitterly disappointed because it was called just after we'd got a 5-1 and were clawing our way back into the meeting," Drury said.

"We're renowned for coming on strong in the latter stages as well and we were confident our big hitters could pull it back for us.

"But conditions were becoming trickier all the time and visibility for the riders behind the leader was very difficult indeed.

"The state the riders were coming back into the pits in wasn't good and a decision had to be made.

"Rider safety is paramount and mainly because of the visibility concerns, it had to be abandoned.

"Our tail was too long once again though and it cost us in the end.

"We've ran out of steam at the wrong stage of the season and we wish the top four teams all the best in the play-offs."

The Brummies head to Kent in a challenge meeting on Monday (September 18) before hosting the Tony Mole Farewell at Perry Barr on Wednesday, October 11.

Like Friday's meeting at Plymouth, they will both be contested without 17-year-old captain Jack Parkinson-Blackburn who has had to pull out of his remaining fixtures due to an ongoing shoulder problem.

Said Parkinson-Blackburn: "I'm still in a lot of discomfort from when I crashed in the Czech Republic.

"It's not getting any better and I'm going to get some treatment to make sure it's all good for the start of next season.

"I'd got some guest bookings in the Championship still to come but unfortunately I've had to let them go because I need my shoulder to fix up."

PLYMOUTH 34: Benji Compton 7, Henry Atkins 7, Richard Andrews 6+1, Steve Boxall 6, Adam Roynon 4+1, Callum Walker 2+1, Jamie Halder 2+1.

BIRMINGHAM 25: Tom Bacon 8, Liam Carr 7, Rob Shuttleworth 5, David Mason 3+2, Layne Cupitt 1, Taylor Hampshire 1, Alex Spooner 0.
Abandoned after 10 heats due to rain – Result STANDS.

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