BRUMMIES 54 BELLE VUE 39

Wednesday June 05, 2013
BIRMINGHAM’S all-round strength proved decisive as they eased to victory over Belle Vue to move level on points with Elite League leaders Wolverhampton.

The Aces had plenty of race wins with the classy Matej Zagar dropping just one point, and Craig Cook took the flag in three of his four outings, but the visitors were brutally exposed in their lower order.

Brummies limited their last places for much of the meeting with the plethora of bonus points indicating a team riding with plenty of confidence as a unit, and two of their side in particular enjoyed welcome returns to top form in their first meeting since the change of averages.

Chris Harris, in an unfamiliar No.4 position, gave his most convincing display of the season with fast race wins and much-improved gating, especially when he flew from the outside in Heat 5 to inflict what turned out to be Zagar’s only defeat of the night.

And nine paid eleven represented comfortably Ben Barker’s best Elite League return of 2013 with plenty of determination evident throughout, exemplified by his no-nonsense first turn in Heat 6 to get the better of Kauko Nieminen and team up with Danny King for a 5-1.

That started a run of four maximums in five races for the Brummies, and any realistic hopes of a Belle Vue fightback ended in Heat 10 when Cook, going for double, missed the start and could make no impression on King or Barker.

With Zagar controlling the final section of the meeting, the Aces avoided any further serious damage and it took until a Heat 14 5-1 from Harris and a very solid Nico Covatti to wrap up all three points for the Brummies, not that the outcome ever looked in serious doubt.

The Aces’ former Birmingham riders had little joy although Kevin Wolbert may have been affected by a heavy first-bend spill in Heat 3, and Ales Dryml did partner Magnus Zetterstrom to the visitors’ sole 5-1 of the night, but Artur Mroczka was again a major disappointment at Perry Barr.

Only Jason Doyle for the home side was somewhat below his best, a frustrating night for the Australian ending with a first-turn fall in Heat 13, but his contribution to the season so far has already been strong, and his team were plenty good enough to cover on this occasion.

BIRMINGHAM 54
D.King 1* 3 3 2 - - - 9+1
B.Barker 2 2* 3 2* 0 - - 9+2
M.Smolinski 1* 1 3 2 - - - 7+1
C.Harris 2 3 2* 3 2 - - 12+1
J.Doyle 1 2 1* F - - - 4+1
N.Covatti 2* 1* 2 2* - - - 7+3
J.Auty 3 0 2* 1* - - - 6+2
Team manager: Phil Morris

BELLE VUE 39
M.Zagar 3 2 6^ 3 3 - - 17
A.Mroczka 0 R 1 0 - - - 1
C.Cook 3 3 R^ 3 - - - 9
K.Wolbert 0 0 1 0 - - - 1
M.Zetterstrom 3 R 1 1 1 - - 6
K.Nieminen 0 1 0 0 - - - 1
A.Dryml 1 2* 0 1 - - - 4+1
Team manager: Jason Attwood
Referee: Jim Lawrence

1 Zagar, Barker, King, Mroczka, 57.67 (3-3)
2 Auty, Covatti, Dryml, Nieminen, 57.91 (8-4)
3 (re-run) Cook, Harris, Smolinski, Wolbert, 58.47 (11-7)
4 (re-run) Zetterstrom, Dryml, Doyle, Auty, 58.95 (12-12)
5 Harris, Zagar, Smolinski, Mroczka, 57.69 (16-14)
6 King, Barker, Nieminen, Zetterstrom (ret), 58.53 (21-15)
7 Cook, Doyle, Covatti, Wolbert, 57.67 (24-18)
8 Barker, Auty, Mroczka, Dryml, 59.18 (29-19)
9 Smolinski, Harris, Zetterstrom, Nieminen, 59.23 (34-20)
10 King, Barker, Wolbert, Cook^ (ret), 58.43 (39-21)
11 Zagar^, Covatti, Doyle, Mroczka, 59.09 (42-27)
12 Cook, Smolinski, Auty, Nieminen, 59.15 (45-30)
13 Zagar, King, Zetterstrom, Doyle (f), 59.27 (47-34)
14 Harris, Covatti, Dryml, Wolbert, 60.09 (52-35)
15 Zagar, Harris, Zetterstrom, Barker, 59.76 (54-39)

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