PLYMOUTH Gladiators' Cab Direct Championship play-off hopes came to an end last night when they were defeated 50-40 at Birmingham Brummies.

The Gladiators are six points adrift of the final play-off place, currently held by the Brummies with 10 points, and they could match that figure by winning at both Edinburgh tomorrow night and Berwick on Saturday in their finall two matches, and claiming the aggregate bonus point on each occasion.

But with Edinburgh (nine points) still to face Birmingham (also tomorrow night), where one of those two teams will pick up at least two points, Plymouth cannot overhaul both sides in the table.

The Gladiators put up a good fight, with Rory Schlein and Simon Lambert both contributing well as guests with 11 and six points respectively, but their third guest, National League Development rider Matt Marson, failed to score from three rides, and that proved a key factor in the end.

Poole Pirates won 55-35 at Edinburgh last night to move to the top of the table, meaning Oxford Cheetahs need to win at Glasgow Tigers tomorrow night if they are to finish in top spot at the end of the regular season and get first pick of their play-off group opponents.

Birmingham 50: Troy Batchelor 12 (5 rides), Justin Sedgmen 10 (4), Lewis Kerr 8 (5), Alfie Bowtell 7+2 (4), Sam Hagon 6+2 (4), Stefan Nielsen 6 (4), Paul Starke 3+1 (4).Plymouth 40: Kyle Howarth 12+1 (6), Rory Schlein 11+1 (5), James Pearson 8+1 (6), Simon Lambert 6 (4), Ben Trigger 3 (6), Matt Marson 0 (3).