Wednesday March 18, 2015
CRADLEY kicked off their campaign in sensational style as they raced to a 63-27 victory over Birmingham at Perry Barr.

The Motor Market Heathens put in a rampant display to begin a new era for the club as they came out on top in an entertaining clash with their co-tenants.

A fine all-around team performance ensured Will Pottinger’s side will take a 36 point lead into the second leg of the Travel Plus Tours Challenge next Wednesday as they look to get their hands on the Dan McCormick Memorial Trophy.

Whilst keen not to get carried away, Pottinger could not hide his delight following a spectacular start to their 2015 campaign.

He said: “It was a great performance by everybody. I don’t think anyone really expected that sort of performance, so fair play to the lads – they all deserve a lot of credit.

“There are some very positive signs so far, but it’s still early days and we can’t get too carried away. It’s very promising because Birmingham are perceived to be one of the stronger teams in the league, but there is still a very long way to go.

“We are looking forward to the return fixture next week which I am sure will be much closer.”

New skipper Max Clegg led by example with an imperious display, suffering just one defeat despite a valiant effort as he was put off a 15m handicap for delaying the start in heat 11 after being pulled up for jumping the start for the second time.

Fellow heat-leader Nathan Greaves backed him up superbly in the No.5 position, fending off Adam Ellis and Tom Perry in a hard-fought heat 13 to join Clegg for a 5-1.

Talented reserve Ellis Perks celebrated his 18th birthday in style with a four-ride paid maximum, whilst fellow debutant Michael Neale also notched an impressive 9+1 including a clever ride to pass Sam Chapman for second in heat 14.

Middle order men Matt Williamson and Arron Mogridge both demonstrated some fast starting in the engine room of the side, with Williamson earning a well-deserved heat 15 appearance, whilst Luke Harris battled hard for his 2+1 in the tough No.2 spot.

All in all it was a terrific showing from the Heathens to begin the season and give them plenty of confidence heading into the second leg of their tie at Perry Barr next Wednesday (7.30).

BIRMINGHAM 27: Tom Perry 10, Sam Chapman 6, Adam Kirby 4+2, Adam Ellis 3, Zach Wajtknecht 2, Alex Wilson 2, Harvie Banks 0

CRADLEY 63: Max Clegg 14, Matt Williamson 12, Ellis Perks 11+1, Michael Neale 9+1, Nathan Greaves 8+2, Arron Mogridge 7+4, Luke Harris 2+1


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