Brummies claim Stars win
Birmingham too good for King's Lynn
By Graeme Bailey - Tweet me: @skygraemebailey. Last Updated: 05/09/12 10:57pm
Birmingham Brummies climbed firmly into play-off contention after a superb 48-42 win at King's Lynn - live on Sky Sports.
The contest was nip and tuck all the way with only two points separating the two teams up to Heat 13 - when a brilliant 5-1 maximum from Bjarne Pedersen and Seb Ulamek set Birmingham on their way to success.
RESULTS AND SCORERS:
KING'S LYNN 42
Chris Harris 9+1, Kevin Wolbert 9, Maciej Jankowski 9, Mads Korneliussen 6+2, Mateusz Szczepaniak 4, Daniel Nermark 4, Ulrich Ostergaard 1+1
Bjarne Pedersen 13+1, Seb Ulamek 11, Danny King 8, Martin Smolinski 6+2, Ben Barker 4+2, Josh Auty 4+1, Nicolas Covatti 2
Krzysztof Kasprzak 14, Darcy Ward 12+3, Piotr Pawlicki 10, Chris Holder 9+1, Ricky Kling 4+1, Linus Eklof 4, Sam Masters 1+1
Scott Nicholls 11, Denis Gizatullin 9+1, Cameron Woodward 6, Ty Proctor 5, Simon Gustafsson 4+3, Lewis Bridger 2+1, Timo Lahti 1+1
An excellent win from Martin Smolinski in Heat 14 meant a 3-3 and so Birmingham could not lose, although TV replays after the race showed Ben Barker may have snatched third - but the referee missed it.
Going into the final heat with a four-point gap, Birmingham knew only a maximum advantage would be enough for them to take all four league points and things got off to a good start as Maciej Janowski touched the tapes.
The World Under-21 champion then had to go off 15-metres which meant he was out of contention.
Pedersen made the gate ahead of King's Lynn guest Chris Harris and the Dane held off the Great Britain star to take the win, and with Ulamek claiming third that meant they won 48-42 which results in three league points.
The win puts Birmingham into fifth in the Elite League table, just two points off fourth place Lakeside and well in contention for a play-off berth.
Birmingham boss Phil Morris told Sky Sports: "The track is perfect they have done a good job, they know they have had bad races and bad meetings but tonight they have come up trumps and that has made the difference.
"Disappointed we didn't get extra point. Think we were robbed a little, but happy to get three points on the board."
Captain Danny King added: "Brilliant night tonight, all the boys dug in. The play-offs have been our goal and they are go close now, I think we can do it."
King's Lynn now drop to seventh and their own play-off aspirations look in major doubt. Their boss Rob Lyon said: "It depends on other results, it is still a possibility but again we have been inconsistent and we have been that like all year to be fair."
Birmingham were led home by the excellent Pedersen with paid 14, but there was good back up throughout the Brummies side with Ulamek also hitting double figures - which was in contrast to King's Lynn as none of their septet was able to pull off that feat.
There was also good news for Birmingham from Wimborne Road as third placed Eastbourne Eagles failed to pick up any points at leaders Poole - who claimed maximum points.
Darcy Ward was in superb form for Poole with a paid maximum, but once again it was Krzysztof Kasprzak who top-scored with an excellent 14.
Poole's new signing Piotr Pawlicki showed outstanding form with 10, whilst they could even afford to have number one Chris Holder coming back with just 9+1.
But Poole were never in danger of not taking maximum points as they won 12 of the 15 heats on the South Coast for a victory which sends them five points clear of Swindon in second.
Eastbourne remain third, but they have a tough run-in and know they need to pick up points on the road.