Wednesday June 08, 2022
BIRMINGHAM conceded three 5-1s in the final three races as they fell to a 50-40 defeat at home to Edinburgh.

It was a fifth straight loss for the Curtis Sport Brummies whose outside play-off hopes were dealt a further major blow.

This was certainly a more spirited overall display from the Perry Barr outfit though with much more fight and determination shown than in the previous home fixtures against powerhouses Poole and Leicester.

The visitors edged the early exchanges and held a four point lead with four gone.

But a 4-2 from Justin Sedgmen, who gated superbly to hand Edinburgh skipper Sam Masters his only defeat of the night, and Ashley Morris was followed by a 5-1 from guest Ricky Wells and Stefan Nielsen to move the Brummies ahead for the first time.

The visitors responded with a maximum of their own in the very next race though through Kye Thomson and former Brummie Paco Castagna to regain a two point lead.

That was held until Heat Ten when Nielsen and Wells combined for their second maximum of the night as the hosts edged back in front by two heading into the interval.

They maintained that gap in Heat 11 when James Shanes charged under star guest reserve Jason Edwards for third before what felt like a defining moment occurred in Heat 12.

With Sedgmen out front and James Pearson riding with grit for all to see holding onto third, it looked as though Birmingham were about to double their advantage.

But the young reserve’s chain came off on the final bend, gifting a point to the opposition and it appeared to deflate the atmosphere within the stadium.

The visitors then struck a hat-trick of 5-1s to round the night off in style, and a stunning ride from Monarchs heat-leader Josh Pickering in Heat 15 saw them claim all four league points available.

Curtis Sport Brummies team boss Laurence Rogers said: “It is disappointing because at times there we weren’t far away at all - but it’s another defeat.

“I was pleased we grabbed the lead back going into the interval but in all honesty we needed it to be more at that stage.

“We knew we had it hard in the last few races with Masters and Pickering out several times and that was never going to be easy.

“Nevertheless I still thought with the way the lads were going for it that we could hold on.

“James had worked really hard for that third spot in Heat 12, he had it within touching distance and that was a big turning point for me, it made a huge difference.

“I was disappointed with the way the last three races went but their top two are in stunning form this season so what can you say?

“As a summary I thought we saw great racing at points tonight.

“Our curator John Priest has worked hard on that track all day but as soon as he was putting water down, it was drying up straight away.

“Nevertheless, some of the racing was really good and I thought it was a better performance from the boys - sadly it still ended in another defeat though.”

Stefan Nielsen achieved double figures for the first time in a Birmingham race jacket and formed a solid partnership on the night with guest No.1 Ricky Wells.

Justin Sedgmen had two impressive race wins while captain Ashley Morris registered his highest score at Perry Barr this season.

James Shanes returned to the side from injury with an all-action display while guest Tom Brennan demonstrated plenty of speed along the way but missed out from the tapes to the opening bends on too many occasions.

Teenage reserve James Pearson endured another cruel night at the office and along with his team-mates will be hoping to get back to winning ways when Plymouth visit the Second City next Wednesday (June 15, 7.30).

BIRMINGHAM 40: Stefan Nielsen 10+1, Ricky Wells 7+2, Justin Sedgmen 7+1, Ashley Morris 7, James Shanes 5+2, Tom Brennan 4, James Pearson 0.
EDINBURGH 50: Sam Masters 14, Josh Pickering 10+2, Jason Edwards 10+2, Paco Castagna 8+1, Kye Thomson 6+1, Jacob Hook 2, Lasse Fredriksen r/r.
Championship points: Birmingham 0 Edinburgh 4

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