Wednesday June 05, 2019
ASHLEY Morris was the home hero as Birmingham pulled off a sensational 46-44 victory over Sheffield in a Perry Barr thriller.

Morris picked himself up from a heavy first-ride crash to go unbeaten from the rest of the meeting as the Edwards Plumbing Brummies hit back from six points down to grab a last-heat triumph in front of a healthy crowd.

In fact here were two spectacular early crashes, fortunately without injury, but certainly with damage to the Brummies’ hopes of a third successive home win.

In Heat 2, Nathan Stoneman tangled with Tigers debutant Josh MacDonald on turn four, and it was a relief to see both riders walk away.

Then in the next race the action switched to bend one as Morris locked up and was clipped by team-mate James Shanes, sending both down in a spectacular incident, again with no injuries.

Brummies found themselves chasing but managed to claw back an early four-point deficit when Shanes battled hard with Zaine Kennedy in Heat 6 and made his move on the inside with the Sheffield rider falling.

However, Broc Nicol rode superbly for a second win in Heat 7 as the Tigers opened a six-point lead prior to an extraordinary Heat 9.

Visiting skipper Kyle Howarth was sent back on the 15-metre handicap after exceeding the time allowance, and was then thrown out of the race completely for appearing on-track with no gloves!

Brummies took advantage with a 5-1 from Adam Ellis and Morris, and a tense contest ensued with two points between the sides.

Paco Castagna played a starring role in the closing stages, first combining with Morris as they held off Ty Proctor in Heat 12 – and the same two riders staged a repeat performance in Heat 14 to cancel out a Tigers 5-1 in between.

That set up a last-heat decider with the Brummies two-up but facing Howarth and their former skipper Danny King – but with Ellis squeezed out, Morris conjured a super start from gate 2 to send the home crowd into raptures and continue their encouraging progress.

Team Manager Laurence Rogers said: “What a night that was!

“It turned out to be exactly the sort of closely contested fixture we anticipated and both teams pushed each other all the way.

“It looked as though Sheffield were opening up a bit of a gap at one point but we grew stronger in the second half of the meeting and to win a third home meeting on the spin is fantastic.

“Don’t forget this was against a well fancied side in this league and it was a terrific battling performance from the boys.”

Brummies are back at Perry Barr next Wednesday (June 12, 7.30) against Championship leaders Leicester.

BIRMINGHAM 46: Ashley Morris 13+2, Paco Castagna 11+2, Adam Ellis 11, James Shanes 5+1, Tero Aarnio 5, Nathan Stoneman 1+1, Zach Wajtknecht R/R.

SHEFFIELD 44: Danny King 13, Kyle Howarth 8+2, Broc Nicol 8+1, Ty Proctor 6+1, Drew Kemp 4+1, Zaine Kennedy 3+1, Josh MacDonald 2.

Share This:   Facebook Twitter