Birmingham claimed there third win of the season in the Midland League under the floodlights. The fixture was re-arranged from the previous Sunday due to the awful weather that sweeped the country.
Birmingham for the first time in a long while had a full strength side with Scott Millward in the starting eight as well as Mark Winwood who has has been in stunning form of late after winning the Chris Allen Memorial recently. Leicester had a slightly weaker side due to the quick re-arrangement but they had hard battlers Kev Burns, Norman Venson and Craig Marchant in the squad as well as British Women’s Champion Lauren Davies.
Heat one saw Millward take the win just ahead of Marchant with Hodgkinson picking up third place to give the away side an early lead. Leicester battled to share heat two with the impressive Davies and Kev Burns finishing ahead of Groves as Chris Timms took the first of his heat wins to reach his maximum. Heat three saw Birmingham claim the first maximum as Paul Timms lead Mark Winwood to a 7-3 ahead of Venson and Liam Davies. Heat seven looked like deja-vu as the Timms/Winwood pair once more claimed a 7-3 for the Monarchs this time ahead of Liam Wood and Marchant to give Birmingham a 41-29 lead.
Heat nine saw drama as a nasty spill on the backstraight involving Michelle Whitehead, Liam Davies and Richard Stevenson saw the race called back and Whitehead excluded though nobody was at fault as the track was a little greasy after the day’s rain. Davies pulled out of the meeting with a badly injured hand as Birmingham made a 6-3 in the re-run.
Heat ten saw Leicester gain a heat advantage as Bob Prince suffered a tape exclusion as Mick Skinner took the win with Nathan Groves sandwiched between Skinner and Venson. Skinner picked up Davies rides in the second half of the meeting but Leicester found the going tough but they gave it everything.
Heat seventeen was a classic as Paul and Chris Timms were out for Birmingham and Lauren Davies and Craig Marchant out for Leicester. From the start Paul Timms made a bad gate but on the second lap he went up the inside of Marchant and Davies and went from last to first alongside his son. The East Midland Monarch riders though did not let up and Davies battled back to peg it back to a Birmingham 6-4 advantage. Kev Burns rounded off the night with a heat win ahead of Winwood and Groves to make it 100-78 in the end.
Birmingham have a busy weekend ahead with the Open Club Championships at Hull on Saturday and then Sunday Birmingham make the trip to Horspath to take on the Hammers in Elite League action.
Leicester Monarchs 78: Marchant 11, Wood 9, Burns 14+3, La. Davies 14, Li. Davies 2, Venson 10+1, Whitehead 4+1, Skinner 14+1
Birmingham Monarchs 100: Millward 20, Hodgkinson 5, C.Timms 20, Prince 7+1, Winwood 16+3, P.Timms 14, Stevenson 4, Groves 14+1