The Plymouth Devils kept up their recent top form following on wins at Swindon and at home to Isle of Wight last week with a superb away win at Birmingham by 47-43 . This gives them a 4 point advantage to take into the 2nd leg at the St Boniface Arena on Thursday night (7.15 start) .
The Devils took the lead in heat 6 with a 4-2 from Adam Roynon and William O’Keefe and never looked back after that. The home side only had two 4-2 heat wins all night with heat leader Tom Bacon twice suffering tape exclusions . There was not one maximum 5-1 heat win all night with the Devils taking four 4-2 heat wins at vital times.
Adam Roynon dropped just one point in his five rides with Liam Carr spoiling his maximum in heat 15. There was solid support from Steve Boxall with 11, Benji Compton with paid 9 and Henry Atkins with paid 8. Richard Andrews won a vital eighth heat to keep his side two points ahead.
Team manager Laurence Rogers was smiling after the meeting and proud of his team, “ This was a top class performance from the Devils. To come to the reigning league champions and come away with a win is not something many sides will do. We have a 4 point cushion now for the 2nd leg and the boys know they have one foot in the semi-finals and have to keep it tight on Thursday night. “
“Having reached the National Trophy Final we are now aiming for a cup final spot . No one could have predicted that at the start of the season and Mark and I are very proud of the lads. They were a team again tonight and that spirit was very evident . Let’s hope the Plymouth public will now really get behind us .”
NATIONAL LEAGUE KO CUP Q/F 1st leg
BIRMINGHAM 43: Liam Carr 12, Taylor Hampshire 8+2, David Mason 8+1, Layne Cupitt 5+1, Jack Parkinson-Blackburn 5, Tom Bacon 4+1, Macauley Leek 1.
PLYMOUTH 47: Adam Roynon 14, Steve Boxall 11+1, Benji Compton 8+1, Henry Atkins 6+2, Richard Andrews 4, Callum Walker 3, William O’Keefe 1.