Wednesday September 11, 2019
BIRMINGHAM owner Peter Mason has confirmed the club will continue at professional level in 2020.

Mason addressed fans after the thrilling 46-44 win over Berwick in the Perry Barr season finale.

And he revealed they will be back next year after a tough return to Championship level with no plans to move back into semi-pro racing at National League level.

On-track, Edwards Plumbing Brummies were taken to a last-heat decider - and once again Finnish star Tero Aarnio was the man to pick up the crucial points and end the Bandits’ outside play-off hopes.

Brummies raced into an early six-point lead helped by an impressive 5-1 from reserves Nick Agertoft and Tom Perry in Heat 2, and the visitors didn’t help themselves with a series of tape-breaking offences.

Both Tomas H Jonasson and Jye Etheridge missed their opening rides as a result, although Coty Garcia came up with a surprise win as Jonasson’s replacement in Heat 3.

However, Garcia was undone by a superb move by Jason Garrity, who went from third to first in Heat 4 with Perry salvaging third place from Leon Flint in an excellent race.

Brummies looked to be taking control of the meeting but were highly unfortunate in Heat 6 when Adam Ellis and Tobias Thomsen held a clear 5-1, only for Thomsen to suffer engine failure at the end of the second lap.

That gave the Bandits some hope, and former Brummies rider Flint produced a fine ride to win Heat 8 and narrow the gap to four points.

Etheridge held off a strong challenge from Aarnio in the next, but Ellis maintained his winning run with a turn two swoop in Heat 10, and Garrity got the better of Ben Barker in a brutal first bend.

Brummies led by six points with four heats to go but the Bandits battled to the wire, with Kevin Doolan just getting the better of Paco Castagna in a tight Heat 14 scrap to take the match down to the last race.

Ellis was unbeaten but didn’t appear in Heat 15, and the Bandits appeared to get the better of the start before Aarnio quickly moved inside Jonasson for the second place the Brummies needed to win their home finale.

Said Mason: “It really was a great way to round off the year here with a last heat decider and of course a Brummies win.

“It’s been a testing and challenging first season at this level but there’s plenty to build on and there are certainly positives to take forward.

“We will be back at the tapes next season, I can say that here and now, and we won’t be dropping back down the leagues either.

“We thank all the fans and sponsors for all of their excellent support and backing throughout this season - it really is so appreciated.”

BIRMINGHAM 46: Adam Ellis 12, Tero Aarnio 10, Jason Garrity 10, Paco Castagna 4+1, Tom Perry 4+1, Tobias Thomsen 3, Nick Agertoft 3.
BERWICK 44: Ben Barker 11, Kevin Doolan 10+2, Coty Garcia 8, Tomas H Jonasson 7+1, Jye Etheridge 4+1, Leon Flint 4, Dany Gappmaier 0.

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