Wednesday June 15, 2022
BIRMINGHAM finally returned to winning ways with a dramatic 46-44 victory over Plymouth.

The Curtis Sport Brummies ended a five match losing streak with a hard fought success over the play-off bound Gladiators.

On a terrific night of entertainment at Perry Barr, the Brummies were pushed all the way by the south west side - and got the job done in a last heat decider with some key moments along the way.

There was some gripping action in the early stages in particular and Birmingham opened up a 17-13 lead with three 4-2s in the first five races.

With guest reserve Connor Coles already retired from Heat Six, Stefan Nielsen then had to push his machine round for the final lap to claim the third place point after experiencing some mechanical gremlins.

Star guest Josh Pickering and James Shanes battled their way to a fourth 4-2 in the seventh before a tactical switch from team manager Laurence Rogers delivered the ultimate reward.

Shanes came in as a reserve substitute and partnered Nielsen for the host’s only 5-1 of the night to go ten up.

But the visitors pulled level with just three heats to go as they found a hat-trick of maximums themselves in the space of four races, started off when guest tactical substitute Scott Nicholls won Heat Nine alongside Hans Andersen.

All square once again, along came Heat 13 and the turning point of the fixture. Nicholls and Andersen again gated on a 5-1 for the visitors before guest Pickering produced one of the finest individual rides Perry Barr has seen for many a year to go from third to first.

Then, just as importantly, the Brummies finally had some good luck on their side when Nicholls packed up, handing guest No.1 Ricky Wells an all important third placed point.

A share of the spoils in the penultimate race ensured a last heat decider with the Brummies ahead by two - but the drama was not done there.

Visiting skipper Andersen charged under Nielsen into bend three, bringing down the home man - and when the white exclusion light shone it meant the Brummies had edged a thrilling encounter in the Second City, regardless of the result in the re-run.

Boss Rogers said: “I’m very proud of all the boys tonight.

“I thought they rode well, I thought we deserved the victory and it was just a great night for the Brummies all round.

“We had a bit of luck on our side in Heat 13 but it’s nice for luck to go our way for a change, probably for the first time this year!

“Every point proved crucial in the end though and it was a battling job well done by the boys.

“We’ve had a great night of racing, we’re on the right end of the result so hopefully it’s a case of onward and upward from here!”

The Curtis Sport Brummies will be looking to make it back-to-back victories next Wednesday (June 22, 7.30) when they host Redcar.

BIRMINGHAM 46: Josh Pickering 13, Stefan Nielsen 8+2, James Shanes 8+2, Ashley Morris 6, Ricky Wells 5, Justin Sedgmen 4, James Pearson 2+1
PLYMOUTH 44: Ben Barker 14, Hans Andersen 10+1, Scott Nicholls 9, Michael Palm Toft 6+1, Ben Morley 4+1, Alfie Bowtell 1, Connor Coles 0
Championship points: Birmingham 3 Plymouth 1

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