Shanes shines as Brummies earn a welcome victory.
Byline: JOE APPLETON firstname.lastname@example.org
JAMES Shanes rose to the occasion to inspire Birmingham to a welcome win over title hopefuls Eastbourne at Perry Barr.
Shanes carded 14+1 and immediately heaped praise on colleagues and fans who rallied round to secure a stunning win.
"It just shows what we can do with a full team," he said. "It's so good to have Adam Ellis back in the side and we have all dug deep to beat a very good team.
"The fans were superb, there was a good atmosphere around the place and I thought as a team we really stuck together and worked hard.
"There's a good team spirit here and we'll give it our best for the rest of the season."
Fans were treated to an action packed night of racing with the contest hanging in the balance throughout.
And despite the welcome win, it wasn't all plain sailing for the Edwards Plumbing Brummies as the visitors struck first with an opening heat maximum courtesy of Georgie Wood and Edward Kennett.
Back to back heat advantages for the Perry Barr men in the following two heats saw them get level.
A first shared heat followed with Richard Lawson just getting the better of Jason Garrity in an action packed heat four.
Brummies then took the lead with Tero Aarnio leading home a 4-2 ahead of the hard-charging Kennett.
GB international Ellis then cruised to his first race win just three weeks to the day since breaking his collarbone against Redcar.
Garrity then clocked the fastest time of the night in heat seven maintaining Birmingham's four point lead at the half-way stage.
Shanes then picked up his second race win following a tight battle with Alfie Bowtell.
Eastbourne then hit back with boss Will Pottinger utilising his Tactical Substitute at the perfect time as Kennett joined Lawson to reduce the deficit to just two points.
Back to back shared heats followed with Ellis and Garrity picking up their second race wins in the process.
The Brummies pairing then teamed up for an all important heat 13 maximum to all but take the tie away from the visitors.
Victory was sealed in the following heat when Shanes came out on top of an intense battle with Lewis Kerr.
BIRMINGHAM 51: James Shanes 14+1, Jason Garrity 12, Adam Ellis 9+1, Tero Aarnio 8, Nick Agertoft 2, Jordan Jenkins 1. EASTBOURNE 39: Richard Lawson 10, Edward Kennett 9+2, Kyle Newman 7+1, Lewis Kerr 5+1, Alfie Bowtell 5+1, George Wood 3, Jason Edwards 0.
Birmingham's Adam Ellis leads Richard Lawson at Perry Barr. PIC: PHIL MCGLYNN