CRADLEY 43 BRUMMIES 47

Monday October 10, 2016
BIRMINGHAM are through to the Final of the National League play-offs after a 47-43 win at Cradley.

The Surestop Brummies claimed a 20 point aggregate semi-final success as they secured an 18th consecutive victory in all competitions.

The Perry Barr outfit knew they had done the majority of the hard work in last Wednesday's first leg, but were keen to beat their Midland rivals on their own shale for the second time this season.

With Cradley renowned for coming on strong in the latter stages of the meeting, the Brummies knew getting off to a good start was imperative.

A trio of 5-1s in the opening six races helped them on their way to building a ten-point lead on the night with six heats remaining.

And while the Heathens did once again claim maximum advantages of their own in heats 13 and 15, a 5-1 from Tom Bacon and Jack Smith in the penultimate race proved to be enough for the Brummies.

Team manager Graham Drury said: "We weren't concentrating on the 16-point lead we already had, we wanted to get one over them once again and the boys were terrific.

"It was another solid team performance and we couldn't be happier overall.

"That was for the supporters of Birmingham speedway; they turned out in huge numbers tonight and hopefully we can now kick on and bring home the silverware for them too!"

Tom Bacon top scored for the Brummies on another impressive night for the 23-year-old. Bacon took the chequered flag in two of Birmingham's four 5-1s and kept home duo Ashley Morris and Max Clegg well and truly on their toes in heat 15.

Jack Smith was instrumental at reserve again as he dropped just two points to a Cradley rider and produced one of the rides of his season to hold off British Under-19 Champion Max Clegg to secure a spectacular 5-1 with Tom Perry in heat six.

Jack Parkinson-Blackburn again reached paid double figures despite a few machinery problems, while guest No. 1 Danny Ayres chipped in with a solid contribution also.

Tom Perry and Darryl Ritchings both enjoyed steady evenings against their former club while Lee Geary got the better of Cradley reserve Bradley Andrews to score one point from two outings at No.8.

The Brummies will be represented in the National League Pairs at King's Lynn this Sunday and will stage the home leg of their Knockout Cup Final tie at Perry Barr on Wednesday, October 19.

CRADLEY 43: Ashley Morris 15, Max Clegg 11+2, Ben Hopwood 8, Joe Lawlor 3+1 (no.8), Richard Andrews 3, Bradley Andrews 2+1, Ben Basford 1, James Purchase R/R.

BIRMINGHAM 47: Tom Bacon 11, Jack Smith 10+3, Jack Parkinson-Blackburn 7+3, Danny Ayres 7, Tom Perry 6+1, Darryl Ritchings 5+2, Lee Geary (no.8) 1, Danyon Hume R/R.
Birmingham win 100-80 on aggregate

Picture: JOHN HIPKISS

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