Birmingham 39, King’s Lynn Stars 51

Captain marvel Tomas Topinka inspired the holders to an emphatic Premier Trophy final, first leg win at Perry Barr last night. The Czech's six-ride masterclass carried Lynn to the brink of retaining their crown ahead of next month's Saddlebow return.

Captain marvel Tomas Topinka inspired the holders to an emphatic Premier Trophy final, first leg win at Perry Barr last night. The Czech's six-ride masterclass carried Lynn to the brink of retaining their crown ahead of next month's Saddlebow return.

Daniel Nermark was a single point from perfection as the cup kings spoiled the party for a bumper 1,500 crowd including Birmingham's Lord Mayor to make the return leg on August 22 a virtual formality.

Chris Mills and Trevor Harding were solid support acts in the absence of Paul Lee - Lynn's second string still nursing a rib problem picked up against Redcar.

Brummies' heat leader Ulrich Ostergaard was also ruled out with a back injury suffered on the Midlanders' recent northern tour.

Topinka cashed in to trap around Emiliano Sanchez for an opening maximum - Mills diving back up the inside of the South American.

Manual Hazuinger pounced after James Brundle slid wide exiting turn three of the reserves' to turn up the volume from the home faithful.

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Nermark was in a different post code to claim the next - Mills fending off Brummies' skipper Jason Lyons to delight the travelling Stars' fans camped on the bottom bend.

Harding kept up the onslaught but Brundle hit reverse before the paying punters enjoyed a two for one offer - Topinka diving across Lyons to head into the sunset while Mills repelled Henrik Moller's last bend assault.

Ben Powell took the scenic route around Harding - Lynn's in form racer forced into an overtime shift with Hauzinger also sensing blood.

Nermark's super slick trap edged the holders six clear on the scoresheets at half way. Mills pressed fast forward to fire from first to last as Brundle was swallowed up by the Birmingham duo.

Benji Compton hit the shale from the tapes in heat nine - Harding splitting the home pair on a solo mission in the re-run. The all-action Aussie was pinged for touching the tapes in the next. Stars' team Rob Lyon nominated Brundle as a reserve replacement but Lynn's Swedish insurance policy minimised the damage.

Brummies' youngster Lee Smart moved centre stage in a bizarre heat 11 - tumbling in a repeat of the Compton spill after tangling with Mills. Lynn's villain of the piece pleaded his innocence in a light hearted exchange with home fans before helping Smart back to the pits. Smart's engine failure in the re-run then forced him to drag his machine around for the entire last lap to grab a point - earning the biggest cheer of the night. Hauzinger hit the fence after picking up drive in heat 12 behind Lyons as Lynn settled on a containment policy.

Topinka anchored a match-winning max after the interval before claiming a rapid fire rider replacement success in the penultimate heat and turning the finale into a victory parade.

Brummies: Powell 4+1, Lyons 11, Moller 3+1, Sanchez 6+2, Smart 4+1, Hauzinger 11+1. Stars: Topinka 18, Mills 8+2, Nermark 13+1, Harding 9+1, Brundle 2, Compton 1+1.

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