BRUMMIES 53 CRADLEY 37

Thursday October 06, 2016
BIRMINGHAM boosted their hopes of a place in the National League Play-Off Final with a 53-37 win over Cradley at Perry Barr.

The Surestop Brummies produced another solid team display to build up a 16-point lead to take to the second leg of their semi-final tie at Monmore Green on Monday (October 10).

Graham Drury's side stated their intent from the off as they opened up a ten point advantage with just three races gone.

While Cradley's heat-leader trio of Ashley Morris, Max Clegg and Ben Hopwood picked up seven race wins between them, the visitors were restricted to just two heat advantages as the Brummies made their strength in depth count.

Reserve duo Jack Smith and Jack Parkinson-Blackburn outscored their Cradley counterparts 22 points to two, and team boss Graham Drury points out how that was the significant difference between the two sides.

Said Drury: "You only have to look at those individual scores and that tells you everything you need to know really.

"That's where the major points swing was in our favour but most importantly it was another great effort from all of the team.

"I think our guest Liam Carr going out in heat one and lowering the colours of the British Under-19 Champion Max Clegg gave everyone an early boost and fair play to the lad.

"We got some heat advantages under our belts early on and they set the tone for the rest of the meeting.

"We always knew that Cradley's top three would score well but if you'd have offered me a 16 point lead before the meeting started I'd have ripped your hand off!

"We won't just be going to Monmore on Monday to defend, we'll be going there to win on the night as well!"

NATIONAL LEAGUE PLAY OFF SEMI FINAL, 1st leg
BIRMINGHAM 53: Jack Smith 13+2, Jack Parkinson Blackburn 9+3, Tom Perry 9+1, Darryl Ritchings 8+2, Liam Carr 8, Tom Bacon 6+1, Danyon Hume R/R

CRADLEY 37: Ashley Morris 13+1, Max Clegg 12+1, Ben Hopwood 9, Bradley Andrews 2, Joe Lawlor 1, Ben Basford 0, Stephen Whitehouse (No.8) 0, Richard Andrews R/R.

Ductair Electrics Ltd Rider of the Night: Jack Smith

Picture: PHIL HILTON

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