Birmingham 54 Devils 36
Despite keeping the scores close in the early stages the Plymouth Devils lost out to reigning league champions Birmingham in their opening National League encounter 54-36.
Number One Steve Boxall dropped just one point in his five rides when missing the gate in heat 14 but forcing his way through to second spot to end with 14 points. Benji Compton was the only other race winner taking heat 4 ahead of Danyon Hume.
After two drawn heats the home side forged ahead with a heat3 maximum 5-1 win before the Devils reduced the deficit to two in heat 4 at 16-14. The Brummies then put themselves into a good lead with three 5-1’s and a 4-2 to make the scores 35-19.
The Devils notched two 4-2 heat wins in Heat 11 and 13 but the home side were in a commanding position by then.
Team Manager Laurence Rogers took the defeat on the chin, “ We battled hard but just didn’t have the firepower to challenge the Brummies but we will regroup and look forward to our home clash with Eastbourne on Friday.”
TRAVEL PLUS NATIONAL LEAGUE
BIRMINGHAM 54: Jack Parkinson-Blackburn 16+1, Darryl Ritchings 9+2, Tom Bacon 9, Danyon Hume 9, Layne Cupitt 8+3, Macauley Leek 3, Kyle Roberts 0, Chris Hay R/R.
PLYMOUTH 36: Steve Boxall 14, Benji Compton 7, Lee Smart 6, Richard Andrews 3+1, Henry Atkins 3, Callum Walker 2, Robert Parker 1+1.