Sunday May 27, 2018
BIRMINGHAM remain the only unbeaten side in British Speedway after a crucial 48-42 National Trophy win at Coventry.

While they weren’t able to grab a heat advantage in the final race to take all four points available, it was nevertheless an important away triumph against the Northern Group’s leaders.

Ahead of Wednesday’s return at Perry Barr (7.30) it moves them to within one point of the Bees who sit on 11 points, the same total as rivals Cradley after their big win at Buxton.

The scores were tied after the opening two races following heat wins from skipper Tom Bacon and in-form reserve Leon Flint.

And there was still nothing to separate the sides after Jack Parkinson-Blackburn squeezed under Luke Ruddick on the entrance to lap three in the third.

Even though home captain Jon Armstrong got his wheels in line to pass Flint on the entrance to lap two of the fourth, the Edwards Plumbing Brummies edged in front with Danyon Hume storming to a convincing race win.

But Flint got back on track in the next as he settled in behind Bacon for a first maximum of the afternoon to move the Brummies six clear.

That was still the gap going into Heat Ten but the hosts gated on a 5-1 and threatened to move back within touching distance.

But Parkinson-Blackburn had other ideas and was able to cut back under Luke Harris off bend two of the final lap to split the home duo.

It was Birmingham who then looked destined for a 5-1, but as Bacon took the chequered flag for his third straight win, Flint reared off the back wheel out of the final bend allowing his opponents through.

But Flint made amends in the very next race, gating from the inside to drift Ruddick wide and creating plenty of room for Parkinson-Blackburn to storm up the inside to move 40-32 in front.

Bacon led home another share of the spoils in Heat 13 with Hume coming down in the opening bends, but Flint secured victory with a second place in the penultimate race.

That left Birmingham needing an advantage in the final heat, but home No.1 Connor Mountain made the best start to take the win and also deny Bacon a maximum.

Team manager Laurence Rogers said: “Four points would have been very nice but three points is still an excellent return.

“We won 11 of the 15 races and if you manage that, then the chances are you’re going to leave the happier of the two teams and that was the case today.

“It continues our brilliant start to the season and to be the only team still unbeaten in British Speedway is something we can be very proud of.”

COVENTRY 42: Connor Mountain 13, Jon Armstrong 7+1, Danny Phillips 6+2, Jamie Halder 5+2, Luke Harris 5+1, Luke Ruddick 5, Ryan MacDonald 1+1.

BIRMINGHAM 48: Tom Bacon 14, Leon Flint 13+2, Jack Parkinson-Blackburn 12+1, Danyon Hume 8, Callum Walker 1, Arran Butcher 0, Layne Cupitt R/R.


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