Wednesday June 13, 2018
DEBUTANT James Shanes was one of three unbeaten riders as Birmingham hit the 60-point mark against Buxton at Perry Barr.

Shanes, Danyon Hume and brilliant teenager Leon Flint all went through the card – 15-year-old Flint performing the ride of the night in the final race to get the better of Hitmen No.1 Ben Wilson.

As expected, there were very few problems for the Edwards Plumbing Brummies against a Hitmen side who have endured a torrid start to the season.

A Heat One win for Wilson gave the visitors some hope as the experienced campaigner made a fast start and held back his counterpart Tom Bacon, but the hosts quickly raced into a twelve-point lead.

Flint was involved in 5-1s in Heats Two and Four, the first of which saw Arran Butcher pull off a paid win in a much more comfortable ride for the youngster.

Meanwhile Shanes made an emphatic start to his Brummies career with two early wins, both in 4-2s along with Callum Walker.

There was drama in Heat Six with Layne Cupitt holding firm in a frantic battle for second place for Tom Woolley when race leader Bacon suddenly slowed on the last lap, Cupitt going through to take a victory.

Cupitt teamed up with Flint for a 5-1 in Heat Eight as the Brummies eased clear, and Shanes quickly established supremacy over Wilson in the next.

Brummies led by 20-points with five races to go, and Hume pulled off a terrific move in Heat 11 to reel in and move inside Wilson going into the final bend for his third win of the night.

Shanes completed his own full score in Heat 12 before Bacon and Hume combined over Wilson, Hume this time making his move early in the race.
Visiting skipper Tom Woolley gave the Hitmen some consolation by winning Heat 14 in their only race advantage of the night but the Brummies saved their best for last.

Bacon was a clear winner of Heat 15 but all the action was behind him with Flint throwing everything at Wilson, before a spectacular burst off the final bend took him past his opponent for a second place greeted with rapturous delight by the crowd.

And Flint was delighted to secure a second paid maximum, little over two months into his first full season.

“I felt a lot better on the bike this week and it’s always good to go unbeaten by an opponent,” he said.

“I thought I’d left myself with too much to do in the last one, but I never give up and I tried a few different lines and I was able to get by off the final bend.

“I’m loving being here at Birmingham. We’ve got a great team, the supporters are brilliant and I’m just really enjoying my racing.”

With their National Trophy position enhanced in the battle with Cradley, Brummies now head to Mildenhall on Sunday in the Knockout Cup – where they are forced into changes – before hosting Belle Vue in the league next Wednesday (June 20, 7.30).

BIRMINGHAM 60: Leon Flint 12+3, James Shanes 11+1, Danyon Hume 11+1, Tom Bacon 11, Layne Cupitt 8+1, Callum Walker 5, Arran Butcher 2+1.

BUXTON 30: Ben Wilson 11, Tom Woolley 8+1, Ryan Terry-Daley 6, Sam Woolley 3+2, Kieran Douglas 2, Lewis Whitmore 0, Connor Coles R/R.

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