Birmingham Monarchs got back into league action this weekend and welcomed Ipswich Eagles to Perry Park. Birmingham welcomed back Scott Millward who has been out through injury but were missing key riders in Parrish and Evans.
Ipswich had strength in depth as always with their young hard chargers in the side as well.
The Suffolk visitors started the brighter with four 6-4’s though heat three saw controversy as Chris Timms fell head over heels on the back straight but the referee awarded the race with Timms picking up a point for fourth. The visitors were not happy but held a 24-16 lead.
Heat five saw Kieron Jones pick up the first heat win for Birmingham as they claimed a 5-5 as Rumbold and Ashley Hill filled in the minor places. Heat six saw a rerun as the original start saw Timms and Chittock tangle in the first bend. In the restart Richard Fellgett showed his talents and speed as he made it two wins out of two for the Under 16 rostrum rider.
Heat seven saw Mower and Joe Kemp battling hard and a great tussle looked on till referee Spicer excluded Kemp for kicking the back wheel of the Ipswich rider. Heat eight and nine saw wins in Monarchs colours for Konrad Pietak and Mark Winwood as going into the break Ipswich lead 50-39.
After the interval Jones once more took the flag as Timms claimed third for a 6-4 advantage to the West Midlanders. Heat eleven saw the same as Pietak never looked in trouble as behind him Nathan Groves got the better of Lewis Roberts for third place to make it 51-58.
Heat thirteen saw drama as Chris Timms and Mark Winwood chased Adam Peck down till Timms went for the inside going to the line. Timms went down but referee Robin Spicer awarded a 7-3 to Birmingham and excluded Peck the surprise of the Ipswich management. Roberts and Rumbold though claimed a 7-3 of their own in the next heat to make it 72-66 to Ipswich.
Heat fifteen saw the last piece of drama as Jones, who was flying for Birmingham, was stuck Mower. With the Welshman getting more and more annoyed he went for a lunge up the inside of the Eagles man and they both went down. Jones was excluded for a ram though like other decisions on the day it was questionable. With three heats to go Ipswich held a seven point lead which they held onto til the last heat when a 7-3 from Pietak and Timms made the final score Birmingham 86-91 Ipswich
Monarchs 86: Millward 14, J.Kemp 2, Pietak 19, Groves 5+1, Winwood 16+1, P.Timms 12+2, C.Timms 6, Jones 12
Eagles 91: Peck 13, A.Hill 10+2, Fellgett 17, Chittock 8+1, Roberts 10+1, Mower 13+1, M.Hill 9+1, Rumbold 11+2
In the Combination fixture Birmingham welcomed back John Rawlings after leaving the sport some ten years ago. After a shaky start ? showed he has still got it and finished with nine points and a bonus. Lee Kemp looked strong after his exploits in the Under 16’s Finals last weekend. Ipswich took the meeting 76-53 with Josh Brooke claiming eleven points and Lauren Jacobs looking strong with fifteen.
Monarchs 53: Hancox 3+1, Hodgkinson 11, L.Kemp 12, Widdas 5+1, Rawlings 9+1, Stevenson 4+2, N.Timms 4+1, Callow 4+1
Eagles 76: Stant 8+2, Jacobs 15, Brooke 11, A.Harvey 12+2, Harris 12+1, B.Harvey 11+1, Turner 8+1