Lynn thrashed by plucky Brum

Birmingham 55, King's Lynn 36King's Lynn's proud unbeaten record at Perry Barr was shattered as Birmingham took the honours in a controversial and dramatic Premier League clash.

Birmingham 55, King's Lynn 36

King's Lynn's proud unbeaten record at Perry Barr was shattered as Birmingham took the honours in a controversial and dramatic Premier League clash.

The Stars had won five and drawn one of their previous six visits to the second city, but on this occasion they came up against a fired-up home team and met with misfortune in a succession of races.

Heavy rain an hour before the meeting led to tricky track conditions which caught out riders from both teams, although that was no explanation for both Linus Eklof and Rusty Harrison exceeding the time allowed for heat one, which set the tone for the meeting.

The Stars were immediately up against it in the re-run when reserve replacement Simon Lambert laid his machine down to avoid a fallen Darcy Ward, and Lambert was ruled out of the rest of the match with a hand injury.

That meant seven rides for Jan Graversen, and although he started well by almost snatching the next re-run of heat one on the line from Tomasz Piszcz, he then suffered mechanical problems.

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Stars went ahead with a 5-1 in heat three from Chris Schramm and an impressive-looking Emiliano Sanchez, who was clearly out to impress on his old home track.

And although the Brummies moved into a narrow one-point advantage, the visitors prevented them from pulling away throughout three shared races before Graversen's retirement from heat eight cost them another point.

Things started to go seriously against them, though, in an explosive heat 10 when all four riders appeared to be aiming at each other before Sanchez came to grief on the second lap, and the Brummies took a 5-1 in the re-run - the first of three such maximums

Ward took a tactical ride in heat 13, with the Stars by now trying to protect a point from the meeting, and the young Australian pulled off a stunning ride to pass Piszcz on the last lap and bank six points from the race. But behind him, Topinka had furiously retired after a rough first bend, and there were further problems in heat 14 when Sanchez, also going for double-points, came down going into turn one and was disqualified by referee Paul Carrington.

By now there was no stopping the home side, with Jay Herne and Richard Sweetman wrapping up the points. But there was more drama as the big guns collided again in heat 15 - quite literally as the race was twice re-run with all four riders after tough first-bend incidents.

Then when they finally got going, as if to sum up the Stars' night, Ward fell on the third lap whilst attempting to pass race leader Piszcz.

The result sees the Brummies leapfrog the Stars at the top of the Premier League table.

Birmingham: Tomasz Piszcz 13, Richard Sweetman 10+1, Jason Lyons 9+2, Jay Herne 9, Lee Smart 8, Rusty Harrison 4+2, Ludvig Lindgren 2+1.

King's Lynn: Darcy Ward 9, Tomas Topinka 9, Chris Schramm 5+2, Emilinao Sanchez 5, Jan Graversen 5, Linus Eklof 3+1, Simon Lambert 0.