Wednesday August 12, 2009
BIRMINGHAM produced a fighting finish to secure all three points from a 50-43 win over Somerset at Perry Barr on Wednesday night.

A see-saw encounter saw the Brummies race into a ten-point lead which was completely wiped out by the Rebels, who went ahead with four heats to go - but the home side battled back and the closing heats contained some stunning speedway.

Steve Johnston's early tactical ride win steadied the Somerset ship as they pegged back from 17-7 down, and the visitors were helped by last-bend falls for both Rusty Harrison and Ludvig Lindgren - on both occasions when the home rider was trying to gain a position.

Lindgren's crash seemed set to put him out of the meeting but the Swede bravely raced on and his 4-2 with the ever-battling Lee Smart in Heat 12 put the Brummies back ahead by a point.

The Rebels pairing gated in Heat 13 but the race changed when Johnston appeared unaware of the presence of his partner Cory Gathercole on the back straight, and blocked his team-mate to allow William Lawson and Jason Lyons to surge through for a shared heat.

Brummies made sure of their victory in a terrific Heat 14 with Richard Sweetman leading from the gate and Smart riding a storming race on bends three and four to come past both Nick Simmons and Emil Kramer for a 5-1.

But they still needed a further advantage, and against the unbeaten Johnston, from Heat 15 if they were to take all three points, and as Lindgren took the lead Sweetman mounted an outside charge which took him past Gathercole into third place.

As he tried to continue the move around Johnston the pair nearly tangled, which sent Sweetman into the fourth-bend fence - and he somehow managed to retain control of his machine and keep his third position, all of which added to Gathercole's frustration as he had to take evasive action and the Brummies reached the crucial seven-point winning margin.

BIRMINGHAM 50: Richard Sweetman 11+1, Ludvig Lindgren 10+1, Lee Smart 10+1, Jason Lyons 7+1, William Lawson 6+1, Rusty Harrison 4+1, Jay Herne 2+1.
SOMERSET 43: Steve Johnston 17, Justin Sedgmen 7+2, Emil Kramer 7, Cory Gathercole 7, Ben Taylor 2+1, Simon Walker 2, Nick Simmons 1.

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