Saturday June 25, 2022
BIRMINGHAM suffered their heaviest Championship defeat of the season on a night to forget at leaders Leicester.

The Curtis Sport Brummies went down 62-28 to a Lions side who have an impregnable home record so far in 2022 and were clearly keen to set the record straight after losing at Glasgow on Friday.

There were slim pickings for the Brummies in difficult conditions, with several riders uncomfortable with the track which dried out fast in the warm, windy weather, and most of the meaningful action took place on the first two bends.

And they went into the meeting a man down as captain Ashley Morris was unable to travel due to a family issue, with the visitors operating rider replacement.

Brummies conceded 5-1s in four of the first five races, and it could have been worse but for Lions star Richie Worrall spinning and falling whilst leading in Heat 3, underlining how tricky things were.

Guest Tom Brennan put Birmingham on the board with an excellent win over Nick Morris in Heat 6, whilst stand-in skipper James Shanes kept Connor Mountain at bay for a 4-2.

Justin Sedgmen then defeated Leicester captain Kyle Howarth by a distance in Heat 7, but when Sedgmen took a tactical substitute outing in Heat 9 he and Brennan were headed by Worrall.

Three 5-1s and a 4-2 between Heats 10 and 13 took the Lions towards a big win, the second of which was somewhat fortunate for the hosts as Birmingham No.1 Claus Vissing, who endured a nightmare meeting, retired from second place in Heat 11.

But there was some late consolation for the Brummies with youngster James Pearson riding superbly in Heat 14 to hold off Joe Thompson and Jason Edwards for a well-deserved race win.

And then Brennan, who battled on all evening and was involved in much of the best action, produced a great move on the last bend of Heat 15 to split Morris and Worrall, after Worrall had passed him earlier in the race.

Birmingham boss Laurence Rogers said: “It was a bad night all round, and I don’t think the track was to anybody’s liking in the beginning.

“They did a lot of track work to make it raceable and there were a lot of problems for people on the top bend. All credit to them, they pulled it back round, but it was a tough night for us.

“The Heat 14 ride by James Pearson was unbelievable. He sat there all that time waiting for another ride, and then he went and won one, which shows the quality the boy’s got for the future.

“We did miss Ash, who always rides Leicester well, and r/r didn’t really cover for us there. But all seems to be okay now, his daughter is out of hospital and we send all our best wishes to Ash and little Ruby.”

Brummies now have ten days off due to the withdrawal of Newcastle, who they were due to face home and away next week.

But the next meeting at Perry Barr promises to be one of the highlights of the season with high-flying Glasgow in town on Wednesday July 6.

LEICESTER 62: Nick Morris 14, Kyle Howarth 10+1, Richie Worrall 10, Dan Thompson 9+1, Joe Thompson 7+1, Jason Edwards 6+4, Connor Mountain 6+3.
BIRMINGHAM 28: Justin Sedgmen 10, Tom Brennan 8+1, Stefan Nielsen 3+1, James Pearson 3, James Shanes 2, Claus Vissing 2, Ashley Morris r/r.

Photo Credit: MARK HALL

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