BRUMMIES 47 KING'S LYNN 43

Monday September 16, 2013
BIRMINGHAM will go into the play-offs as league leaders after edging to a last-heat victory on a tense night at Perry Barr.

A meeting re-arranged following a rain-off the previous Wednesday saw the Brummies unable to shake off resolute King’s Lynn, with the Stars’ lively reserves proving a threat throughout the evening.

The Norfolk side could rightly point to a shoulder injury which put skipper Mads Korneliussen out after a third-ride crash, and the fact that they only took one point from the rider-replacement facility for the unavailable Richie Worrall – again showing what might have been for them this season.

Birmingham, meanwhile, were hampered by an extreme off-night for an unwell Chris Harris, and thankful that both Jason Doyle and Ben Barker gave high-quality displays.

The home side hit early trouble with Josh Auty and Danny King disqualified from their first rides after incidents on the second bend, and Stars guest David Bellego was twice involved in 5-1s as his side took the early advantage.

Even when Birmingham levelled in Heat 6, the visitors hit straight back in the next race but lost Korneliussen, who had at least two more rides to come, when he hit the third-bend fence hard in Heat 8 in an unusual-looking crash.

A fine effort by Martin Smolinski to pass both Bellego and Lasse Bjerre in Heat 10 put the Brummies ahead for the first time, but Nicklas Porsing was a huge threat and he held Harris at bay for third place in the next.

Porsing then nearly won Heat 12 only for King to wind up drive on the outside to come through on the last lap – but fast gating from Niels-Kristian Iversen and Rory Schlein brought the Stars back level with two races to go.

Heat 14 was extraordinary, and looked set to finish as a 3-3 with Josh Auty pulling up at the back on the last lap, only for Lasse Bjerre to crash on turn three. A frustrated Auty discarded his machine onto the centre-green before realising there was a point up for grabs and pushing home – with replays subsequently showing his rear wheel had remained fractionally within the confines of the circuit, meaning his point could stand.

Swindon’s win over Lakeside meant Birmingham needed to avoid conceding a 5-1 in the last race to be top come cut-off time, and Doyle produced a wonderful first two turns to see off Iversen and Schlein, with Barker also coming through for third place – first job done for the Brummies, but the hard work starts again immediately.

BIRMINGHAM 47
M.Smolinski 1 2* 3 1 - - - 7+1
B.Barker 3 3 3 2* 1 - - 12+1
D.King X 1 2 3 - - - 6
J.Doyle 3 3 1* 3 3 - - 13+1
C.Harris 0 1 0 - - - - 1
N.Covatti 1 0 2 0 - - - 3
J.Auty X 1 2* 1 1 - - 5+1
Team manager: Phil Morris

KING’S LYNN 43
N.Iversen 2 2 3 3 2 - - 12
Rider Replacement – Richie Worrall
M.Korneliussen 2 3 X - - - - 5
L.Bjerre R 1* 0 F - - - 1+1
R.Schlein 3 1 3 2* 0 - - 9+1
N.Porsing 3 0 2* R 1 2 2 10+1
D.Bellego 2* 2* 0 1 1 0 - 6+2
Team manager: Rob Lyon
Referee: Chris Durno

1 Barker, Iversen, Smolinski, Bjerre (ret), 61.91 (4-2)
2 (re-run) Porsing, Bellego, Covatti, Auty (f,exc), 63.25 (5-7)
3 (re-run) Doyle, Korneliussen, Bjerre, King (f,exc), 61.56 (8-10)
4 Schlein, Bellego, Auty, Harris, 61.72 (9-15)
5 Doyle, Iversen, King, Porsing, 59.84 (13-17)
6 Barker, Smolinski, Schlein, Bellego, 61.25 (18-18)
7 Korneliussen, Porsing, Harris, Covatti, 61.41 (19-23)
8 (re-run) Barker, Auty, Bellego, Korneliussen (f,exc), 61.50 (24-24)
9 Schlein, King, Doyle, Porsing (ret), 60.18 (27-27)
10 Smolinski, Barker, Bellego, Bjerre, 61.65 (32-28)
11 Iversen, Covatti, Porsing, Harris, 61.07 (34-32)
12 King, Porsing, Auty, Bellego, 61.41 (38-34)
13 Iversen, Schlein, Smolinski, Covatti, 61.16 (39-39)
14 Doyle, Porsing, Auty, Bjerre (f), 60.94 (43-41)
15 Doyle, Iversen, Barker, Schlein, 60.56 (47-43)

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