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Birmingham v Sheffield
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SPIRES WIN BIG AT BRUM

OXFORD gave their play-off hopes a real boost with a convincing away win at Birmingham in the ROWE Motor Oil Premiership on Monday.

The Spires were 37-23 up when the meeting was curtailed after ten races due to rain, with both Maciej Janowski (8+1) and Chris Harris (7+2) unbeaten from three rides.

Reserve Erik Riss was also effectively on a maximum as he had reeled off three wins before being disqualified from Heat 9 for exceeding the time allowance.

The Brummies started with a 5-1 but quickly fell away, and they suffered a further blow when Tom Brennan crashed in Heat 7.

Oxford boss Peter Schroeck said: “I think it was the right call, as the track was starting to deteriorate. But we were happy to continue if necessary.

“We weren’t going to jump up and down, we left the ball entirely in Birmingham’s court as to whether they wanted to continue or not.

“The boys knew it was an important meeting for us and they all got stuck in. I was really pleased that Drew (Kemp) went out and won Heat 8, because he hasn’t had the easiest of times since he signed for us and that was important for his confidence.”

Birmingham manager Sam Ermolenko said: “We were fighting the conditions last time we were here and today it was the elements.

“We just weren’t getting out of the starts and we didn’t really have the opportunity to race the track when the rain started coming and it kind of spoilt it for both sides.

“We still had a chance, but the rain took the best of it.”

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Photo credit: PHIL McGLYNN