Wednesday May 18, 2022
BIRMINGHAM were unable to build on Tuesday’s away win at Oxford as they were beaten 47-43 by the Cheetahs at Perry Barr on Wednesday.

It was a hugely frustrating night for the Curtis Sport Brummies who had high hopes of making it three league victories on the spin.

But rain throughout the fixture took away any home track advantage the Brummies had started to build and let things slip at the death.

Just as they did when the sides met 24-hours previous, it was Oxford who opened with a 5-1 but back-to-back 4-2s saw the Brummies level by Heat Three.

That’s how it remained until Heat Seven when guest Kyle Howarth and James Shanes combined for a maximum to move the Brummies ahead for the first time.

They extended their lead to six-points by Heat Nine before the visitors won four of the next five races to take things into another last heat decider with the scores level.

And despite the best efforts of Shanes, it was legendary British duo Scott Nicholls and Chris Harris, who was a late guest for Oxford with initial booking Nick Morris stuck on the motorway at 5pm, who sealed victory for the Cheetahs.

Birmingham team boss Laurence Rogers said: “Over the two nights we were very much two matched teams with the weather levelling things out on both occasions.

“We won at their place, they won here and we are disappointed we couldn’t back that up.

“We just didn’t have the firepower in the end and it’s never nice to lose, especially when it’s a last heat decider, especially when you were leading.

“I know Kyle was the obvious choice to go out with Sedgy (Justin Sedgmen) in Heat 15 but he felt the track was deteriorating by that point with the way the rain was coming down.

“At the end of the day, he’s come in as a guest for us, he’d already ridden well to score ten points, he’s got an important meeting for his parent club Sheffield on Thursday and with all of that in mind I had to respect his wishes.”

Despite crashing twice and despite complaining of some discomfort in his left knee, Stefan Nielsen left the stadium in much higher spirits and was hopeful of racing for his top-flight side Sheffield on Thursday.

The Curtis Sport Brummies are back at Perry Barr next Wednesday (May 25, 7.30) when reigning Champions Poole are the visitors.

BIRMINGHAM 43: Justin Sedgmen 11, Kyle Howarth 10, James Shanes 6+1, James Pearson 5, Ashley Morris 4+2, Claus Vissing 4+1, Stefan Nielsen 3+1.

OXFORD 47: Scott Nicholls 16, Chris Harris 12+1, Kyle Newman 6+1, Jack Thomas 6, Dillon Ruml 3+1, Cameron Heeps 3, Nathan Stoneman 1+1.
Championship points: Birmingham 0 Oxford 3.

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