Birmingham Brummies 45-45 Kent Kings
Birmingham Brummies 45-45 Kent Kings

When these two teams meet at Perry Barr, the crowd can more often than not be guaranteed a last heat decider and again the visiting Kent SLYDE Kings suffered heat 15 frustration – seeing victory grasped from their reach by a 5-1 by the hosts, which led to a 45-45 draw.

A four away match unbeaten run really shows that these 2018 Kings are made of the right stuff to achieve their play off ambitions and indeed the two match points gained in the Second City on Wednesday evening was enough to move Chris Hunt’s charges into second place in the Travel Plus Tours National League table – ahead on points difference from the side they next face twice in three days, reigning champions Belle Vue.

Birmingham were of course champions the previous two seasons but have always struggled to hold the Kings at bay at what’s otherwise been something of a Perry Barr fortress. With the absence of their young star Leon Flint expected to be covered by Rider Replacement, the medical note handed in by Callum Walker changed the complexion meaning the R/R facility transferred to him and the prolific Mildenhall number one Drew Kemp was able to come in as Guest for his fellow 15-year-old. Kemp scored a full house 15 points maximum including a race win in the decisive heat 15.

Kent of course had to use a Guest too (for the banned Steve Boxall) and concussion victim Nathan Stoneman’s enforced absence was covered by R/R. For the SLYDE sponsored Kings teenagers Anders Rowe and the often rather overlooked Alex Spooner really came to the party, both scoring paid 12.

The two indeed combined in heat 14 to repeat the 5-1 that Jack Thomas and Rowe had pulled out in heat 10 to mean that only a similar maximum by the hosts would prevent a ninth win in a row in all competitions for Kent.

Sadly Tom Bacon was to get a measure of revenge over Rowe for that surprise heat 10 defeat and for Perks an uncharacteristic third place meant a draw was indeed how it ended.

Birmingham Brummies   45

1. Tom Bacon   2, 3, 1, 1′   7+1
2. R/R for Callum Walker
3. Drew Kemp (G)   3, 3, 3, 3, 3   15 [M]
4. Dan Greenwood   1, 1, 3, 1, 1   9
5. James Shanes   3, 3, 3, 2, 2′   13+1
6. Sheldon Davies   0, 0, 0, 1, 0   1
7. Josh Embleton   2, 0, 0, 0   2
8. Tom Spencer   0           0

Kent SLYDE Kings   45

1. Ellis Perks (G)   3, 2, 2, 3, 1   11
2. Taylor Hampshire   1, 0, 0, 2, 0   3
3. Anders Rowe   2, 2, 2′, 2, 3, 0   11+1
4. R/R for Nathan Stoneman
5. Jack Thomas   2, 2, 2, 3, 0   9
6. Jamie Couzins   1, 1′, 1′, 0  3+2
7. Alex Spooner   3, 1′, M, 1′, 1′, 2′   8+4

Heat Results

1 Perks, Bacon, Hampshire, Embleton 60.81  (2-4)
2 Spooner, Embleton, Couzins, Davies 63.25 (4-8)
3 Kemp, Rowe, Greenwood, Hampshire 62.38 (8-10)
4 Shanes, Thomas, Spooner, Embleton 61.87 (11-13)
5 Kemp, Perks, Greenwood, Hampshire 61.06 (15-15)
6 Bacon, Thomas, Couzins, Davies 60.97 (18-18)
7 (rerun) Shanes, Rowe, Couzins, Davies, Spooner exc, 2M 61.03  (21-21)
8 Greenwood, Hampshire, Spooner, Embleton 62.40 (24-24)
9 Kemp, Thomas, Greenwood, Couzins 61.40 (28-26)
10 Thomas, Rowe, Bacon, Spooner 61.69 (29-31)
11 Shanes, Perks, Davies, Hampshire 60.93 (33-33)
12 Kemp, Rowe, Spooner, Embleton 62.15 (36-36)
13 Perks, Shanes, Bacon, Thomas 61.68 (39-39)
14 Rowe, Spooner, Greenwood, Davies 62.09 (40-44)
15 Kemp, Shanes, Perks, Rowe 62.03 (45-45)

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