Friday August 28, 2009
BIRMINGHAM made a whirlwind start to their Premier League encounter at Somerset on Friday - but in the end had to settle for a point from a 48-42 defeat.

The BRC Roofing Brummies raced into a 10-2 lead with maximum points in both of the first two races, but the Rebels maintained their unbeaten home record by reeling in the deficit and then winning a last-heat decider for the second week running.

Brummies riders won four of the first six races as they held a 22-14 advantage, only for Somerset to hit back with consecutive 5-1s in Heats 7 and 8 as their recent team change of deploying Justin Sedgmen at reserve paid dividends - the young Australian involved on both occasions.

Jason Lyons' second win of the night in Heat 9 put the Brummies back in front, but Somerset responded with two 4-2s as Cory Gathercole got the better of Tomasz Piszcz in the battle of the unbeaten riders in Heat 11.

The next three heats were shared but things could have been so different in Heat 12 as the Brummies held a 5-1 on the third lap, only for Jay Herne to slow causing Sedgmen to crash - and with Herne disqualified, the race became a 3-3 with Ludvig Lindgren taking the flag.

Piszcz gained revenge over Gathercole in Heat 13 with Lyons squeezed to the back, and Richard Sweetman kept the Brummies in with a shout by winning the penultimate race.

But with Lyons and Piszcz looking to repeat the last-heat form of their Premier League Pairs triumph at the Oak Tree Arena in June, they were upstaged on this occasion by Gathercole and Steve Johnston who raced clear to leave the Brummies taking just a consolation point from the meeting.

SOMERSET 48: Cory Gathercole 16+1, Justin Sedgmen 10+3, Steve Johnston 9+2, Emil Kramer 8+1, Nick Simmons 3, Jari Makinen 2, Simon Walker R/R.

BRUMMIES 42: Tomasz Piszcz 11, Jason Lyons 9, Ludvig Lindgren 7, Richard Sweetman 5+1, Jay Herne 4, Rusty Harrison 3+1, Lee Smart 3+1.

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