Thursday June 26, 2008
BRAVE Birmingham gave Redcar a real scare in their 46-44 defeat on Teesside on Thursday night.

James Birkinshaw was appointed skipper in the absence of broken collarbone victim Jason Lyons – who is also having scans on a possible back injury.

And the BRC Roofing Brummies went into the meeting with Tomas Topinka in for Lyons, Andrew Tully replaced Phil Morris and the rider-replacement facility covered for Adam Roynon’s absence.

But Graham Drury’s men still had a chance of a draw going into the last race thanks to a determined display from his patched-up side on a gloomy night.

Tully crashed out of Heat 13 and the re-run allowed former World Champion Gary Havelock and Proctor to secure a decisive 5-1 for the Bears.

Birmingham, however, continued to show grit and determination and took it to a last heat decider when Craig Watson and Birkinshaw pulled off a 5-1 in the penultimate race.

And even though home skipper Havelock retired with bike problems from the deciding race, Proctor split the Brummies duo to deny them what would have been a remarkable draw.

REDCAR: Ty Proctor 15+1, Gary Havelock 9+2, James Grieves 9, Josh Auty 9+1, Scott James 3+1, John Branney 1, Joni Keskinen R/R.
BIRMINGHAM: Tomas Topinka 15, Craig Watson 11, James Birkinshaw 8+3, Andrew Tully 6, Lee Smart 4, Jack Hargreaves 0, Adam Roynon R/R.

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