Friday June 22, 2018
BRILLIANT Birmingham stunned league leaders Belle Vue by taking maximum points from their 50-40 away win.

It was the first defeat on home ground since October 2016 for the reigning Champions - with Brummies the victors on that night also.

And while it was a dominant display on that occasion, this was more of a battling performance where another show of character was required from the Perry Barr outfit.

After a bright start, which saw them leading by four points with three gone, the hosts plugged away to peg Brummies back. Belle Vue had the better of the mid-section and opened up a 29-25 lead after nine races.

But with lower end trio Callum Walker, Layne Cupitt and Arran Butcher struggling for points, team manager Laurence Rogers utilised star reserve Leon Flint to maximum allowance.

Used three times on the spin as a reserve substitute, the 15-year-old linked up with his heat-leading team-mates to help swing the pendulum back in Birmingham’s favour.

First he won Heat Ten after James Shanes team rode the youngster home before vital third places with Tom Bacon and Shanes taking the chequered flag in two terrific, tight tussles with home duo Jack Smith and Kyle Bickley.

Bacon came out on top in a breathtaking side-by-side encounter with captain Smith in Heat 13 before Brummies wrapped up victory with a race to spare as Flint completed a stunning 16-point haul with Walker also collecting a crucial third place.

And when Bacon again won the battle of the skippers, taking his fourth race win of the night, that ensured Brummies headed back to the Midlands with all four league points to their name courtesy of six heat advantages to round off the fixture.

Boss Rogers said: “Comments were overheard after we beat them at our place on Wednesday and it was said in their programme that our boys wouldn’t be able to ride their circuit.

“I think that really fired the team up and they were desperate to do their talking on the track - and they did just that.

“It was another story of Leon, Tom, Shanesy and Danyon (Hume) all being a solid quartet and while the other boys had it tough again, the points they managed between them proved to be the difference in us taking that extra league point available.

“Even when I took Layne, Callum and Arran out of one of their rides, they took it well and understood that I’d got the team’s best interests at heart.

“So credit to all of the boys for again finishing so dominantly and this is another huge win for us.

“To take maximum points from the leaders in the space of 48-hours should tell the rest of the league we mean business.”

The result shot Birmingham up to second in the standings who now travel to the Isle of Wight on Thursday (June 28, 7pm).

BELLE VUE 40: Jack Smith 12, Kyle Bickley 9+1, Joe Lawlor 7+1, Ben Woodhull 6+1, Paul Bowen 3, Tom Perry 2, Kean Dicken 1+1.

BIRMINGHAM 50: Leon Flint 16, Tom Bacon 13, James Shanes 11+1, Danyon Hume 7+1, Layne Cupitt 1, Callum Walker 1, Arran Butcher 1.


Share This:   Facebook Twitter