Tuesday May 16, 2023
BIRMINGHAM'S Cab Direct Championship campaign got off to the perfect start as they pulled off a 47-42 win at Plymouth on Tuesday.

Following five straight defeats in other competitions, the Curtis Sport Brummies produced a fine team effort to secure their first success of the season.

The Second City side got their night in Devon off to a strong start when Nick Morris and Alfie Bowtell opened with a 4-2.

That was before debutant Joe Thompson won his first ride in Brummies colours as he led a 5-1 with James Pearson.

There was a blow in Heat Three when Stefan Nielsen crashed out - he was withdrawn with an ankle injury.

The re-run saw the hosts sitting comfortably on a 5-1 - only for former Brummie Paul Starke to make a mistake on lap three before being excluded.

Plymouth reduced the gap to three points with a 4-2 in Heat Four before a hat-trick of shared races followed.

Bowtell and Thompson bagged a 4-2 in Heat Eight before skipper Justin Sedgmen won Heat Nine.

But the hosts were back to within a single point of the Brummies when they picked up their first maximum of the night in Heat Ten.

Morris and Bowtell settled for second and third respectively in Heat 11 before the Brummies boosted their chances massively in the next two races.

First, guest Paco Castagna took the chequered flag in Heat 12 while Thompson was denied second place with Plymouth stand-in reserve Lee Complin finding a route past.

But in Heat 13, Sedgmen and Morris made lighting starts to help them on their way to another huge Brummies maximum.

And when Bowtell, up against his former employers, split the home duo of Ben Barker and Richie Worrall in Heat 14, the Brummies were all but there before Sedgmen officially wrapped things up in Heat 15 with his fourth win of the night.

Team Manager Laurence Rogers said: "That feels so good!

"We had a chat as a team on track walk and with it being the first league meeting, we said that our season started here - and boy did they respond.

"We got off to such a good start and that gave us some confidence from the off.

"We may have lost Stefan in his first ride but the team pulled together brilliantly and they fully deserved that win.

"We've been saying for a few weeks now that it's been coming - and it might only be one result but it also shows that nobody should underestimate us because we've got a good team."

The Curtis Sport Brummies will be looking to build on their fine away win when they host Edinburgh at Perry Barr on Wednesday (May 17, 7.30).

PLYMOUTH 42: Richie Worrall 14+2, Ben Barker 13, Dan Gilkes 9, Lee Complin 3, Paul Starke 2+2, Ben Trigger 1, Kyle Howarth R/R.
BIRMINGHAM 47: Justin Sedgmen 14, Alfie Bowtell 9+1, Nick Morris 8+2, Paco Castagna 8, Joe Thompson 5, James Pearson 3+2, Stefan Nielsen 0.

Photo credit: DAN WESTLAKE

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