Wednesday October 06, 2010
BIRMINGHAM will take a four-point lead to Newcastle on Sunday for the second leg of their promotion semi-final after a thrilling night's racing at Perry Barr.

The Diamonds, led by a magnificent Kenni Larsen, launched a strong late fightback to end the Brummies' hopes of finishing the first leg with a double-figure points advantage.

Larsen proved unstoppable with five straight wins but the Brummies dominated the middle stages of the meeting when the Dane was not involved and looked set to build a decent lead.

Racing highlights included Richard Sweetman's on-the-line verdict over Mark Lemon after a thrilling chase in Heat 4, and then the returning Chris Kerr snatching second place from Dakota North in Heat 12 to complete a 5-1 with Aaron Summers.

But Kerr, in his first match back from a broken leg, crashed heavily in Heat 14 and the Diamonds took some late impetus with a 5-1 from North and Rene Bach in the re-run, followed by a 4-2 in the next race as Larsen completed his maximum to further trim the deficit.

Brummies boss Graham Drury said: "It was a great night of racing and credit to both teams for that, but it goes without saying that we wanted a bigger lead and it looked for a time that we would get it.

"Chris has gone to hospital for a precautionary x-ray on the leg he injured before, so we're keeping our fingers crossed over that, and another problem was that Steve Johnston hurt his back early on which obviously affected his scoring."

BIRMINGHAM 48: Jason Lyons 12, Chris Kerr 8+2, Aaron Summers 8+1, Richard Sweetman 8+1, Justin Sedgmen 5, Steve Johnston 4+1, Kyle Newman 3+1.

NEWCASTLE 44: Kenni Larsen 15, Rene Bach 13, Mark Lemon 8, Dakota North 5+2, Derek Sneddon 2, Adam McKinna 1, Jason King r/r.

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