Wednesday August 21, 2019
BIRMINGHAM fell to a 55-35 home defeat against title chasing Leicester on Wednesday.

The Lions had too much all-round strength for the depleted Edwards Plumbing Brummies, whose efforts were not in question in front of the biggest crowd of the season.

But the difference between the hosts and the league leaders was clear, especially with captain James Shanes now on the injury list.

Visiting skipper Scott Nicholls put in a brilliant display with his racing moves showing off all his experience, and his regular partner Ellis Perks was also a thorn in Birmingham’s side throughout.

The Lions never looked like losing from the moment guest Steve Worrall outpaced Adam Ellis in Heat 1, whilst Nicholls and Perks got the better of Paco Castagna for a 5-1 in Heat 3.

Stand-in Brummies skipper Jason Garrity suffered pre-meeting mechanical issues and then touched the tapes prior to Heat 4 – but he then made up enormous ground from the 15-metre handicap to pass Connor Mountain for second place.

Brummies looked to be getting a foothold with Nick Agertoft taking his first win for the club and Tero Aarnio taking Heat 5, but a tactical substitute ride for Ellis in Heat 7 saw him superbly overtaken by Nicholls on the second lap.

Ryan Douglas won two successive races for the Lions and then Nicholls and Perks held Ellis at bay in Heat 10 as the visitors moved 14 points up.

Aarnio ended Nicholls’ winning run with a firm defence of the lead to win Heat 12, but the Lions motored on towards all four league points – although Garrity, who was beset by clutch trouble at the starts, produced another sensational effort from the back in Heat 13 to get round Douglas for second place on the last lap.

Perks confirmed the visitors would take maximum returns by quickly passing Paco Castagna in Heat 14, and they put a fully emphatic gloss on the scorechart with another 5-1 in the last race from Worrall and the evergreen Nicholls, who surged past Aarnio.

Team boss Laurence Rogers said: “We had way too many bike problems from the off tonight and it meant we got off to a slow start.

“We obviously missed Shanesie as well but take nothing away from Leicester they fully deserved their win.

“The effort was there as always though and now we prepare for a busy weekend ahead.”

Brummies now head into their Northern tour, starting at Edinburgh on Friday (7.30) and are back at home next Wednesday against Berwick.

BIRMINGHAM 35: Tero Aarnio 8+1, Adam Ellis 8, Paco Castagna 8, Nick Agertoft 6, Jason Garrity 5+1, Connor Coles 0, James Shanes r/r.
LEICESTER 55: Scott Nicholls 12+2, Steve Worrall 12, Ellis Perks 11+1, Ryan Douglas 11+1, Connor Mountain 5, Joe Lawlor 4+1, Ty Proctor r/r.

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