BRUMMIES 46 PETERBOROUGH 44

Wednesday August 21, 2013
HIGH drama at Perry Barr as Birmingham went top of the table with a victory which looked wholly unlikely with four heats to go - and required some breath-taking racing to achieve.

The Brummies and the Panthers had fought out one of the matches of the season in their drawn encounter at the Showground last month and this was just as good, with the visitors showing exactly why they have been the Elite League’s form team in recent weeks.

The trusty Ben Barker/Danny King combination did the job for the Brummies in the last-heat decider to put them ahead for the only time and leave the Panthers frustrated to finish with just a point after being six-up at various stages.

Four races in, the Panthers were 15-9 ahead and the Brummies looked sluggish – not being helped by Martin Smolinski’s bike catching fire in Heat 4 to begin a disastrous night for the German, who was forced to switch machines.

Peterborough’s anger was directed the events of a controversial Heat 5 when Ryan Fisher fell under Barker’s third-bend challenge, with Barker subsequently tangling with team-mate King and leaving all three riders down. Fisher was adjudged the cause of the incident but Kenneth Bjerre notched his second win in the re-run.

Brummies thought they were back in contention when Chris Harris passed Joonas Kylmakorpi for second place in Heat 6 for a 5-1, but it took three further races to get level as in-form reserve Patrick Hougaard cruised to maximum points with Krzysztof Buczkowski in the seventh.

Fisher’s disqualification for a fourth-bend fall in Heat 8 was more routine, the resultant 4-2 being added to by King and Barker’s 5-1 in the next to level the meeting.

But Peterborough still offered a major threat and after Harris had been squeezed out of Heat 10, Bjerre and Fisher took advantage of Smolinski’s problems to open up a four-point lead with just four races to go.
At that point, the Brummies raised their game to a new level with King rounding Hougaard off the final bend of Heat 12 and Harris winning a thrilling wheel-to-wheel battle with Bjerre in Heat 13 to give their side hope of pulling off a comeback.

Barker shot down the inside of Buczkowski in the penultimate race to keep the momentum going, but just as important was guest David Bellego’s smart move on the second bend to relegate Hougaard to the back.

King and Barker still had it all to do in the decider but Bjerre crucially faltered from gate two and the Brummies pair superbly joined forces to break clear of Buczkowski and complete an amazing turnaround on an epic night of speedway.

BIRMINGHAM 46
C.Harris 1 2* 0 3 - - - 6+1
J.Doyle 0 3 3 3 - - - 9
D.King 3 1* 2* 3 2* - - 11+3
B.Barker 2* 2 3 3 3 - - 13+1
M.Smolinski X 0 1 R - - - 1
D.Bellego 2 1 0 1 - - - 4
J.Auty 0 1 1 0 - - - 2
Team manager: Phil Morris

PETERBOROUGH 44
K.Bjerre 3 3 3 2 R - - 11
R.Fisher 2* 1 X X 2* - - 5+2
Rider Replacement – Norbert Kosciuch
K.Buczkowski 0 2* 2 2 1 - - 7+1
J.Kylmakorpi 3 1 1 1* - - - 6+1
D.North 1 0 0 1* - - - 2+1
P.Hougaard 3 2* 3 2 1* 2 0 13+2
Team manager: Ryan Sullivan
Referee: Dave Robinson

1 Bjerre, Fisher, Harris, Doyle, 58.25 (1-5)
2 Hougaard, Bellego, North, Auty, 59.15 (3-9)
3 King, Barker, Fisher, Buczkowski, 58.90 (8-10)
4 (re-run) Kylmakorpi, Hougaard, Auty, Smolinsi (exc), 59.56 (9-15)
5 (re-run) Bjerre, Barker, King, Fisher (f.exc), 58.82 (12-18)
6 Doyle, Harris, Kylmakorpi, North, 59.16 (17-19)
7 Hougaard, Buczkowski, Bellego, Smolinski (f.rem), 59.62 (18-24)
8 (awarded) Doyle, Hougaard, Auty, Fisher (f.exc), no time (22-26)
9 Barker, King, Kylmakorpi, North, 58.78 (27-27)
10 Doyle, Buczkowski, Hougaard, Harris 59.78 (30-30)
11 Bjerre, Fisher, Smolinski, Bellego, 59.47 (31-35)
12 King, Hougaard, North, Auty, 59.47 (34-38)
13 Harris, Bjerre, Kylmakorpi, Smolinski (ret), 59.72 (37-41)
14 Barker, Buczkowski, Bellego, Hougaard, 60.28 (41-43)
15 Barker, King, Buczkowski, Bjerre (ret), 60.03 (46-44)

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