BRUMMIES 61 COVENTRY 35

Wednesday August 28, 2013
BIRMINGHAM strengthened their position at the top of the table with this thoroughly routine victory and are now overwhelming favourites to have first pick of opponents in the play-off semi-finals.

Seven Brummies 5-1s in the first ten races and just two last places throughout the night summed up the difference between these Midlands rivals, with Coventry looking exactly like a team who went into the meeting off the back of a series of heavy away defeats.

Another of those was always on the cards although the efforts of Scott Nicholls and some fast starts from Krzysztof Kasprzak in the second half of the meeting took them some way beyond the 20-points they mustered at Peterborough five nights earlier.

For the Brummies, Jason Doyle scored a four-ride paid maximum and never looked under serious threat, whilst the speed of Chris Harris was also an encouraging sign, with Martin Smolinski back on the pace after his nightmare against Peterborough the previous week.

There was, however, a worry for the home side at the end of the meeting when Ben Barker crashed heavily with Nicholls in Heat 15. The two made contact going into the third bend and Barker, on the inside, suffered the heavier crash as he just missed team-mate Harris before hitting the fence.

Although Harris won the re-run with a decisive second-bend move against Kasprzak, Brummies’ concerns were for the disqualified Barker, who was taken away in the ambulance complaining of rib and back pain.

That was the second spectacular crash in a similar area of track, with Smolinski running into the back of Michal Szczepaniak mid-bend in Heat 4, with the Pole disqualified as he was adjudged to have lost momentum causing the German to take avoiding action.

Four successive Birmingham 5-1s put them 36-12 up after eight races before Nicholls won a tactical ride with a strong first turn to get the better of Danny King – and in Heat 11 Kasprzak, a poor third in his opening two rides, clocked a fast time to also bank six points.

With the meeting over as a contest, the race of the night was Heat 12 with King and Grzegorz Zengota wheel-to-wheel almost for the duration and Zengota then only just remaining on his bike after scraping the fence on the last bend. In fact, the race was so entertaining that it ran for a fifth lap before the chequered flag was displayed!

BIRMINGHAM 61
C.Harris 3 2* 2* 1* 3 - - 11+3
J.Doyle 2* 3 3 3 - - - 11+1
D.King 2* 2* 2 3 - - - 9+2
B.Barker 3 3 1* 3 X - - 10+1
M.Smolinski 2 3 2 2 - - - 9
T.Nelson 2 1* 0 2* - - - 5+2
J.Auty 1* 2* 2* 1* - - - 6+4
Team manager: Phil Morris

COVENTRY 35
K.Kasprzak 1 1 6^ 3 2 - - 13
O.Allen 0 0 1 0 - - - 1
G.Zengota 1 1 0 2 - - - 4
A.Summers 0 0 1 1 - - - 2
S.Nicholls 3 1 6^ 0 1* - - 11+1
J.Grajczonek R 0 0 1* - - - 1+1
M.Szczepaniak 3 X R R - - - 3
Team manager: Gary Havelock
Referee: Christina Turnbull

1 Harris, Doyle, Kasprzak, Allen, 58.50 (5-1)
2 Szczepaniak, Nelson, Auty, Grajczonek (ret), 59.82 (8-4)
3 Barker, King, Zengota, Summers, 59.66 (13-5)
4 (re-run) Nicholls, Smolinski, Nelson, Szczepaniak (f,exc), 59.68 (16-8)
5 Barker, King, Kasprzak, Allen, 58.78 (21-9)
6 Doyle, Harris, Nicholls, Grajczonek, 59.47 (26-10)
7 Smolinski, Auty, Zengota, Summers, 59.25 (31-11)
8 Doyle, Auty, Allen, Szczepaniak (ret), 59.47 (36-12)
9 Nicholls^, King, Barker, Grajczonek, 59.47 (39-18)
10 Doyle, Harris, Summers, Zengota, 60.34 (44-19)
11 Kasprzak^, Smolinski, Auty, Allen, 58.66 (47-25)
12 (re-run) King, Zengota, Grajczonek, Nelson, 59.61 (50-28)
13 Kasprzak, Smolinski, Harris, Nicholls, 59.97 (53-31)
14 Barker, Nelson, Summers, Szczepaniak (ret), 60.06 (58-32)
15 (re-run) Harris, Kasprzak, Nicholls, Barker (f,exc), 60.00 (61-35)

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