Wednesday May 23, 2018
BIRMINGHAM survived a tricky start against the Isle of Wight to win their Travel Plus National League opener 53-37 at Perry Barr on Wednesday.

Based on early season form, many predicted a comfortable victory for the Edwards Plumbing Brummies, but the visitors proved awkward customers in the opening exchanges.

In fact it was the Isle of Wight who led with five races gone following exclusions for Layne Cupitt and Arran Butcher as well as mechanical issues for Jack Parkinson-Blackburn on his return to the club.

But the Perry Barr side came on strong thereafter, winning nine of the final ten races to help them maintain their unbeaten start to the season.

Team Manager Laurence Rogers said: "Because of how hot the weather has been we had to get lots of water into the track.

"But it didn't dry as quickly as we expected and it caught our boys out in the first few races.

"But as soon as the track settled more to how we're used to it, the boys came back well and we got there in the end.

"There were plenty of positives to take from the meeting and we hit our target of starting off our league fixtures with a win and that's all that matters."

Danyon Hume reeled off three wins on his way to 12 points while teenage reserve Leon Flint racked up double figures for a fifth successive meeting.

Captain Tom Bacon contributed paid double figures while Callum Walker produced another encouraging display, totalling nine points for a second week running.

After ignition problems in his first two, fans' favourite Jack Parkinson-Blackburn went unbeaten by an opponent in his final three rides as he settled back into life at Perry Barr nicely.

Arran Butcher received the biggest cheer of the night as he secured a surprise yet impressive paid win in Heat Seven while Layne Cupitt's paid win in the previous race was the only time he troubled the scorers.

The Edwards Plumbing Brummies now prepare to take on Coventry in a vital National Trophy meeting at Leicester's Paul Chapman and Sons Arena on Sunday (3pm) before hosting the Bees back at Perry Barr next Wednesday (May 30, 7.30).

BIRMINGHAM 53: Danyon Hume 12+1, Leon Flint 10+1, Tom Bacon 9+1, Callum Walker 9, Jack Parkinson Blackburn 8+1, Arran Butcher 3+1, Layne Cupitt 2+1.
ISLE OF WIGHT 37: Ben Morley 11, Ben Hopwood 9, Danno Verge 7+2, Chris Widman 5+1, Josh Embleton 4+2, James Chattin (no.8) 1, Jamie Sealey 0, Scott Campos r/r.

Meanwhile Birmingham Ductair Electrics Bulls' Midland Development League opener with Peterborough was cut short after two races with the scores tied 6-6.

Jamie Sealey and Tom Spencer were involved in a nasty collision in Heat Three with Spencer suffering slight concussion while Sealey was taken to hospital with suspected leg injuries.

BIRMINGHAM 6: Arran Butcher 3, Jamie Sealey 3, Rachel Hellowell 0, James Spencer 0.
PETERBOROUGH 6: James Chattin 3+1, Kean Dicken 2, Tom Spencer 1+1, Lewis Whitmore R/R.

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