STOKE 37 BRUMMIES 51

Saturday July 23, 2016
BIRMINGHAM emerged with four more National League points following a 51-37 victory in an incident-packed meeting against Stoke at Loomer Road.

The Surestop Brummies continued their magnificent away record with a hard-fought triumph – although the win potentially came at a cost with No.1 Zach Wajtknecht withdrawn through injury.

The talented youngster was involved in a freak accident as his hand was trapped in the back wheel of another rider.

X-rays have confirmed he suffered two broken fingers, although it is currently unknown how long he will face on the sidelines.

Stoke also endured plenty of misfortune, losing Shaun Tedham and Chris Hay to injuries in the first two heats leaving them down to only five riders for the majority of the meeting.

The visiting Brummies nonetheless put in a professional display to capitalise upon their misfortune – but team manager Graham Drury admitted he had plenty of sympathy for the home side.

Said Drury: “It was a good performance, but I don’t really take any great deal of joy going to a meeting like that and winning it.

“When your opposition lose two riders within the first two races it isn’t good for the meeting as a whole, and it was a shame things turned out like that.

“It was one of those nights with a lot of crashes, and it was a long night for everybody concerned, but we came away with four points which was the main thing.

“It was an unusual incident with Zach, and it looked very nasty at first, but I gathered the riders up and told them the best thing they could do was to go on and win it for him which is exactly what they did.

“I felt very sorry for Stoke tonight losing riders early on, but I think the promotion should be congratulated for all the hard work they’ve done at Loomer Road because it’s a great little setup there nowadays.”

Skipper Tom Perry top scored for the Brummies with 13 points, whilst Tom Bacon continued his fine form to bag double figures with a superb display.

Jack Parkinson-Blackburn was involved in three 5-1s with a strong showing in the lower order, whilst Wajtknecht got them off to a perfect start by winning heat one before his withdrawal.

Middle order man Darryl Ritchings also improved as the night progressed whilst Danyon Hume and Jack Smith both recorded race wins in what was a strong all-around team performance.

The high-flying Brummies will be back in action at Perry Barr on Wednesday (7.30) as they host Mildenhall.

STOKE 37: Ben Hopwood 9+1, Tony Atkin 9, Rob Shuttleworth 8+1, Ben Wilson 8, Paul Burnett 3, Shaun Tedham 0, Chris Hay 0.
BIRMINGHAM 51: Tom Perry 13, Tom Bacon 10+1, Jack Parkinson-Blackburn 8+3, Darryl Ritchings 7+1, Danyon Hume 5, Jack Smith 5, Zach Wajtknecht 3.

Picture: KEVIN OLIVER


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