Saturday May 22, 2021
BIRMINGHAM produced a stunning comeback to earn maximum league points from their season opener.

The Brummies beat Berwick 51-39 to earn their first professional level away win since September 2013.

Such a result seemed unlikely as they fell 10-2 behind after the opening two races, but fans’ favourites Ashley Morris and James Shanes struck an instant reply in the third before a hat-trick of 4-2s saw the Brummies move in front by two.

The pendulum swung back in favour of the hosts with back-to-back 5-1s to take a 27-21 lead.

That prompted a tactical substitute move from team boss Laurence Rogers - and it saw two British legends roll back the years.

Guest Scott Nicholls took the chequered flag, while replacement Chris Harris battled away before charging under Dany Gappmaier on the final two bends to claim a big 5-1.

Shanes and Morris then combined for their second maximum of the evening, before Harris followed second guest Broc Nicol home for another in a key run for the Brummies.

And they made sure of maximum points by winning the three final races and adding two further heat advantages along the way.

Boss Rogers said: “That was just what the doctor ordered.

“It’s a dream way to start off the season and what a fabulous performance it was from the boys.

“Yes ok, Berwick were unlucky to have Jye Etheridge withdrawn following his opening ride when already using rider replacement, but take nothing away from our lads.

“There were some really great performances out there and even with the two boys missing tonight, it’s a really encouraging start to the year in more ways than one.

“It was a true captain’s performance from Bomber while Ash and Shanesie returned to the Brummies side in style and formed a solid partnership.

“Jack Thomas rode brilliantly and it was great to see him win two races.

“Paco (Castagna) had a tough night after suffering some bike problems in his first outing and to be fair to him, he was a great team player when I replaced him with Bomber as a tactical substitute.

“A big thanks to Scotty and Broc as well who more than played their part and as I said it was a great team performance to get the season up and running.”

BERWICK 39: Aaron Summers 10+1, Leon Flint 9+2, Nikolaj Busk Jakobsen 9+1, Kyle Bickley 6+1, Dany Gappmaier 5, Jye Etheridge 0, Coty Garcia R/R.

BIRMINGHAM 51: Chris Harris 14+2, Ashley Morris 8+2, Scott Nicholls 8, James Shanes 7+1, Jack Thomas 7, Broc Nicol 5, Paco Castagna 2+1.


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