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INSPIRED OXFORD TOP THE TABLE

OXFORD’S dream start to life in the ROWE Motor Oil Premiership continued with a 48-42 win at Birmingham.

The Spires secured match and aggregate points and sit top of the early table with a 100 per cent record from their opening three fixtures.

They overcame the absence of No.1 Maciej Janowski due to Polish commitments to produce a strong all-round showing at Perry Barr with Australian Champion Rohan Tungate enjoying his best display so far with 14+1 from six rides, whilst Charles Wright (11+2) and Chris Harris (10+1) were also in double figures.

The Brummies’ scoring was dominated by Scott Nicholls in the final appearance of his short-term stint, as he racked up 15+1 at reserve, whilst Tom Brennan totalled 13+1 including wins in the last two races.

Spires manager Peter Schroeck said: “We knew the team was more than capable of winning this meeting, and we couldn’t be happier with the result.

“Our maximums were really crucial. To post four 5-1s away from home is good going, and we needed them as Birmingham had strengths in their side too.

“From the day Oxford returned to track we’ve always said avoid last places, and we did that well – and I’m proud of Ashton (Boughen) too for showing real resilience in his final ride for winning back what turned out to be a crucial point.”

Brummies boss Sam Ermolenko said: “I’m disappointed, but my seven riders are equally disappointed, it got away from us. Last week we were making starts, this week we weren’t.

“With Oxford, the size of the tracks we’ve got are similar and Oxford probably had a little bit of a closer set-up than Sheffield.

“Some of my riders don’t need me to tell them that we need more from them so I explained to the guys, keep your heads up, think about it and we’ll see what we can do next.”

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Photo credit: STEVE FEENEY