JACK'S THUMBS-UP FOR WEDNESDAY

Tuesday August 15, 2017
BIRMINGHAM skipper Jack Parkinson-Blackburn has declared himself fit to race in Wednesday’s key home fixture against Mildenhall (7.30).

The 16-year-old crashed out of his guest booking for Berwick at the weekend and left the track via ambulance.

But x-rays confirmed nothing was broken and after a couple of days rest, the West Yorkshire racer insists he is good to go for an important showdown with the Fen Tigers at Perry Barr.

However the Surestop Brummies will be without heat-leader Tom Bacon for the clash who has failed to recover from a shoulder problem sustained while on Championship duty with Peterborough last Friday.

Rider replacement will operate for him while Alex Spooner comes in for Kyle Roberts at reserve, and Cradley man Richard Hall stands in for David Mason who remains unavailable.

Team boss Graham Drury said: “We’re mightily relieved that Jack is going to be fit to take his place.

“He is a big part of the team this year and he brings a lot to the side off the track as well as on it.

“Tom Bacon still isn’t quite right so he’s going to give it another day or two and hopefully he’ll be back in contention for our away meeting at Belle Vue on Friday.

“Richard Hall was the obvious guest booking to cover our missing riders if you ask me. He’s a rider with vast amounts of experience and just under a week ago he scored a maximum on his debut for Cradley at Perry Barr.

“He may be a Heathen but my job is to pick the best rider available and with the way he rode at our track just last week, he was the stand-out replacement. He’s grateful of extra track time and with Jack Parkinson-Blackburn being his step-son I’m sure they’re looking forward to riding with each other.”

The Brummies currently sit two places and three points outside the play-off zone and Wednesday’s opponents Mildenhall still have an outside shout of a top four finish themselves.

“I really do think this could be one of the best meetings of the season,” Drury said.

“Mildenhall are a very solid side with some hugely talented riders and they’re in the mix along with ourselves.

“They suffered their first home defeat of the season at the weekend – so they’ll be hurting and will want to come to Perry Barr and prove a point.

“But this is the first of seven crucial fixtures for us, five of which come in the next eight days and the majority are against teams who are also bidding for a play-off place.

“We not only need a win, but we could also do with sending Mildenhall home empty handed.

“We’re going to need our supporters behind us and with it being the school holidays as well, we urge our supporters to spread the word, bring a relative, bring a friend, bring a neighbour – let’s get plenty of support for the lads and let’s keep our hopes alive!”

To coincide with the summer holidays, Children under-16 will be admitted FREE when accompanied by a fully paying adult.

BIRMINGHAM: Jack Parkinson-Blackburn, Layne Cupitt, Richard Hall, Tom Bacon R/R, Liam Carr, Alex Spooner, Taylor Hampshire

MILDENHALL: Connor Mountain, Luke Ruddick, Jon Armstrong, Jordan Jenkins, Danny Halsey, Danno Verge, Sam Woods

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