Wolves 53 Birmingham 40 - report and pictures

Referee Ronnie Allan smothered the Tai Woffinden/Ben Barker fire before it could catch light.

Referee Ronnie Allan smothered the Tai Woffinden/Ben Barker fire before it could catch light.

With a Twitter row smouldering between the two, the match official made his views known in no uncertain terms before the start of this derby clash.

And as the managements of both clubs were also on the case, there was no chance of a conflagration between the two.

Instead, ironically, Barker managed to incur the wrath of arguably the coolest head in the home pits, that of Wolves No.1 Freddie Lindgren.

The red mist descended on the laidback Swede in heat 10 when his Birmingham opponent took him way out towards the second-bend fence.

Lindgren somehow stayed on and, generating extraordinary speed, sliced between Barker and Brummies skipper Danny King on the home straight before surging through on the inside to take the lead.

“That was over the top, you know?” said Lindgren after the meeting. “You’ve got to leave some room and he just left me for dead there.

“But I’m pretty handy on a bike, managed to stay off a crash,” added the current world No.7. “I was a bit angry. I was kind of red, probably, steaming underneath my crash helmet.

“I just went for it and did probably the fastest lap of the night. I went out very wide in turn three, cut back underneath Barker, came in with a lot of speed into turn one again.

“You’ve got to be 100 per cent committed to do that kind of move. That was because I wanted it.”

Committed was certainly an apt description for the Parrys International Wolves, who simply tore into this meeting to great effect.

They were 16 points up after just six races – and it would have been 20 but for Jacob Thorssell shedding a chain when on a 5-1.

Woffinden dropped just one point, to Barker in the last race, while there was solidity throughout the order to back up Lindgren’s five-ride paid maximum.

Yet the Selco Brummies, with Josh Auty more effective as the meeting progressed , Barker picking up and new Italian signing Nico Covatti’s efforts earning him instant cult hero status, cut the gap to seven.

Wolves had to work hard to keep the visitors at bay – Thorssell and King swapped second place four times in the 12th – but, as one suspected, they had too much firepower in the big-hitter heats 13 and 15.