Wednesday October 10, 2007
BIRMINGHAM built up a useful 16-point advantage to take to Stoke for the second leg of their Young Shield semi-final with victory at Perry Barr on Wednesday.

Their patched-up side acquitted themselves well with their three guests all very much involved in an incident-filled night of racing.

The visitors lost Danish star Claus Vissing after a heavy fall in his second ride, whilst Lee Complin was involved in a tangle with Brummies guest Craig Branney on the back straight of Heat 5 and came down, but was able to continue after treatment.

As ever, Brummies were led from the front by the inspirational Jason Lyons, who worked his way from last to first to set the tone in Heat 1, and he dropped his only point in six rides to an impressive Ben Barker in the re-run of Heat 5.

At that stage, the Potters were only two points adrift, but the Brummies then took 5-1s in three of the next four heats to take control of the tie, with Phil Morris recovering well from a first-ride last place and Chris Schramm impressing after falling first time out.

It was Schramm who neutralised Barker's tactical ride in Heat 11 as the race finished 4-4, and Stoke's move to bring Tony Atkin in as a tactical substitute in Heat 14 was repelled by Craig Branney and Danny Warwick.

Five consecutive races were shared in the second half of the meeting - Birmingham unlucky in Heat 13 when Schramm stopped when on a 5-1 with Morris - but Brummies finished with a 4-2 as Lyons won the last race and Morris battled his way past Atkin for third.

The 16-point lead is a good one for the Brummies, but they will still beware a Stoke fightback on Saturday as the Potters pulled back 24 points against Somerset in the quarter-finals last weekend.

BIRMINGHAM: Jason Lyons 17, Phil Morris 12+1, Chris Schramm 8+1, Lee Smart 7, Craig Branney 6+2, Danny Warwick 4+1, Manuel Hauzinger r/r.

STOKE: Ben Barker 15, Barrie Evans 7+2, Lee Complin 6+1, Tony Atkin 5+2, Claus Vissing 3, Jamie Smith 2, Rusty Harrison r/r.

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