Wednesday July 20, 2022
BIRMINGHAM'S guest riders came up trumps to help them snatch a 46-44 win over Oxford on Wednesday.

It was a good response to their heavy away defeat to the Cheetahs 24-hours previous as the Curtis Sport Brummies secured important back-to-back home wins in the Championship Jubilee League.

The result moves them to the top of their Southern Group - but with three meetings in hand, powerhouse Poole remain favourites to progress through to the Final.

They are the side the Brummies face home (Wednesday, July 27, 7.30) and away (Friday, July 29, 7.30) next week though and there's a much more positive vibe around Perry Barr following a fourth home win out of the last five in all competitions.

Brummies struggled early on against Oxford and found themselves eight points down with five races gone.

Guest No.1 Josh Pickering led a first 4-2 of the night in Heat Six though - and that prompted team manager Laurence Rogers to bring him in as a tactical substitute in the seventh.

The first staging saw him hit the deck hard in a first bend incident, but with an unsatisfactory start, all four were back for the re-run.

That saw former Birmingham man Aaron Summers caught out by the track on bend three - and following some remedial work, Brummies were back within two with a 5-1.

Guest Tom Brennan combined with skipper Ashley Morris, who had fallen in his first two outings, to pull them level with a 4-2 in Heat Nine.

Oxford nipped back ahead with a 4-2 of their own in Heat 12, but when Pickering held off the strong visiting pair of Troy Batchelor and Scott Nicholls, that left things on a knife edge.

Brummies took the lead for the first time in the penultimate race when guest reserve Alfie Bowtell made another brilliant start and was followed through by Morris.

And even though Batchelor got away with a flyer in Heat 15, Pickering and Brennan did enough to keep Nicholls last and round-off the fight back, much to the delight of the home crowd.

Boss Rogers said: "We needed that result.

"We were disappointed with the way things went at Oxford, we asked these lads for a response and they gave it us.

"I was super proud of the way the riders turned the meeting around and all three of our guests were absolutely superb tonight.

"It's a shame we let Oxford leave with a point, even if they did probably deserve it, but even so it was another good win for the Brummies."

BIRMINGHAM 46: Josh Pickering 14+1, Tom Brennan 11+1, Alfie Bowtell 8, Justin Sedgmen 6, Stefan Nielsen 4, Ashley Morris 3+1, James Pearson 0.
OXFORD 44: Troy Batchelor 12, Scott Nicholls 9+1, Cameron Heeps 7+1, Dillon Ruml 6+3, Aaron Summers 6+2, Jack Thomas 4, Paul Starke r/r.
Championship Jubilee League points: Birmingham 3 Oxford 1

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