Wednesday June 21, 2023
BIRMINGHAM bounced back from an early six point deficit to bag their first home win of the season on Wednesday.

The Curtis Sport Brummies beat Berwick 48-42 - their first success at Perry Barr since defeating the Bandits last August.
After a testing start to the season it was a much needed result that lifted Brummies off the bottom of the table and up into sixth in the Cab Direct Championship.

The hosts conceded back-to-back heat advantages in the opening two races as the meeting got off to a nightmare start.

But new signing Troy Batchelor and home debutant Dan Thompson combined for a 5-1 in Heat Three as they reduced the gap down to two.

The No.3 and No.4 pairing didn’t have things go their way in Heat Five though as Berwick’s Thomas Jorgensen and Rory Schlein registered their second maximum of the match - and that prompted team boss Stewart Dickson to make his move in Heat Six.

It worked to perfection as well with skipper Justin Sedgmen flying away from the outside gate and he was swiftly partnered by team-mate Nick Morris as the Brummies delivered an instant response.

A hat-trick of shared races followed before Morris led home a third 5-1 of the night with Alfie Bowtell - and the hosts took the lead for the first time.

Sedgmen picked up a third straight win in Heat 11 before the Brummies were more than grateful for a stroke of luck in the latter stages of Heat 12.

Batchelor rounded fellow Aussie Jye Etheridge superbly off bend four of the opening lap to help him on his way to a third win of the night.

But a crucial point came at the back when Berwick’s Jacob Hook suffered a puncture on the last lap, allowing Joe Thompson to come through and steal third.

Visiting No.1 Rory Schlein produced a brilliant opening lap in Heat 13 to come by both Sedgmen and Morris down the back straight, and a penultimate race 4-2 for the visitors took things to a last heat decider with the score 43-41 in Brummies favour.

Boss Dickson put his faith in the two riders he knows very well from their Premiership places with Leicester - and Sedgmen and Morris delivered one final 5-1 to secure the two league points as the home faithful breathed a huge sigh of relief.

Said Dickson: “I kind of played it down a wee bit beforehand - but I was nervous.

“It’s a good feeling though when you get that in your tummy because if you’re not nervous ahead and throughout a meeting like that, then you’re not up for it and you’re not ready.

“I knew with this new-look team we had a chance of beating Berwick with all due respect to them.

“They put up a good fight but for us to come back from six points down shows the character that we’ve now got in this team.

“The boys responded and they deserve all the credit.

“It was great to hear the noise from the terraces; these supporters have waited a long time to see a winning team at Birmingham.

“It’s only the start though, I’m not going to get carried away, but let’s enjoy the moment because it’s been a while for everyone here and we are no longer bottom of the league!

“So thank you to the supporters and I must say I thought the track was excellent as well, John Priest (track curator) did a really good job so fair play to him for that.”

Curtis Sport Brummies will be hoping they can use that momentum when they travel to Edinburgh on Friday (June 23, 7.30).

There is Speedway at Perry Barr next Wednesday (June 28, 7.30) as the Club proudly stages the 2023 British Under-19 Final.

BIRMINGHAM 48: Justin Sedgmen 15+1, Nick Morris 10+2, Troy Batchelor 10, Alfie Bowtell 5+1, Dan Thompson 4+1, Joe Thompson 4+1, Sam Hagon 0
BERWICK 42: Thomas Jorgensen 10, Rory Schlein 9+3, Jonas Knudsen 6, Leon Flint 6, Jye Etheridge 4+1, Jacob Hook 4+1, Connor Coles 3+1

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