Sunday October 07, 2018
BAD LUCK cost Birmingham once again as they put up a brave performance at runaway leaders Mildenhall.

The Edwards Plumbing Brummies eventually went down 53-37 after taking the challenge to the Fen Tigers.

They lost teenage star Leon Flint, with a potential broken metatarsal, after Heat Seven following a second crash of the afternoon before fellow heat-leader James Shanes was forced to pull out of the meeting after damaging his equipment in a big Heat 11 pile-up.

Team manager Laurence Rogers explained: “We were right in it up until that point and it’s a massive shame once again because I genuinely thought we were going to be the side that ended Mildenhall’s terrific run of results.

“We were only two points down at that stage and the way our heat-leaders were riding, I thought we’d have enough in the final few heats to pip them.

“But it would appear bad luck is sticking with us and that’s what cost us once again.

“The loss of Leon after just two rides was a massive blow, particularly when you consider he had five points out of six to his name.

“He had soft tissue damage in his knee the other week but that didn’t seem to be causing him any major bother.

“But after a couple of nasty offs, he was checked over by the paramedics and not only had the handlebars whacked him in a rather delicate place, they also reckon he’s got a similar injury to the new three-time World Champion Tai Woffinden and he’s going to have his metatarsal bone in his foot checked out.

“James had already damaged one bike on parade and then he totally damaged his other in that first bend smash in Heat 11.

“Had it been a play-off meeting or a fixture with something riding on it, then James would’ve jumped on somebody else’s machine for his final couple of rides.

“But James isn’t a fan of using borrowed machinery and now needs to focus on what looks like it’s going to be an expensive repair bill.

“It was a great battling performance from an understrength side and again we can hold our heads high.

“Nathan Stoneman proved to be a top guest as we knew he would around Mildenhall and I thought Nick Laurence did well to say he’s hardly ridden this season.

“The reserves gave it their all as always and it was another good learning experience for them in non-ideal track conditions.”

Whilst bemoaning his side’s luck once again, Rogers was also quick to praise their opponents.

“That was their 20th win in a row and while we feel they got away with it on this occasion, you certainly can’t take anything away from them,” he said.

“They’ve had a stunning season, they’ve developed a couple of genuine stars of the future and you can’t fault them for that.

“Had we had a fully fit team all season we’d have made them sweat, but it is what is and you can see why they’re favourites to take a clean sweep of honours.”

Brummies wrap-up their league schedule at Buxton next Sunday (October 14, 3pm) before staging a three-team tournament against Wolves and Heathens select sides at Perry Barr on Wednesday, October 17 (7.30).

MILDENHALL 53: Drew Kemp 10, Josh Bailey 10, Ryan Kinsley 9+2, Jordan Jenkins 9, Sam Bebee 8+3, Matt Marson 7+2, Danny Ayres R/R.

BIRMINGHAM 37: Nathan Stoneman 15+1, James Shanes 8, Leon Flint 5, Josh Embleton 5, Nick Laurence 3+1, Sheldon Davies 1, Tom Bacon R/R.

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