Sunday June 21, 2015
CRADLEY are sweating on news regarding influential reserve Michael Neale after he crashed out of their 46-41 defeat against Mildenhall at West Row.

Neale was caught up in a horrific heat two tangle involving team-mate Luke Harris and Fen Tigers’ reserve Stefan Farnaby leaving him with a suspected broken collarbone.

With Nathan Greaves also sidelined with a broken leg, Neale’s withdrawal left Will Pottinger’s side severely depleted for the majority of their clash.

They fought valiantly to lead for the bulk of the meeting before fading in the closing stages to slip to a narrow defeat.

However, they nonetheless held on for a well-deserved consolation point to leapfrog Birmingham and return to the top of the National League table ahead of their mouth-watering clash with the Brummies at Perry Barr on Wednesday.

Team boss Will Pottinger admitted he was left with mixed feeling after they let a slender lead slip after battling hard to keep their hopes of an unlikely victory alive with only five fit riders.

Said Pottinger: “We’ve got mixed feelings to be honest, because after leading for the majority of the meeting we are absolutely gutted we’ve lost.

“Unfortunately we just didn’t have enough in the tank after losing Mikey Neale to a suspected broken collarbone suffered in that crash in heat two.

“He seemed pretty certain it was a broken collarbone which is a blow, and it’s far from ideal when you are using rider replacement to lose another rider early on.

“We had to ask Luke Harris to do seven rides which was tough on him, and although the lads tried their best we just didn’t quite have enough.

“We were very much up against it, and I suppose we have to be happy we still got a league point despite being down to only five riders.

“It seems to be one thing after another at the moment, but we have to regroup and go again on Wednesday in what is going to be a tough meeting against Birmingham on Wednesday.”

Skipper Max Clegg and the fast-starting Ellis Perks impressed throughout, both adding double figures to lead the side.

Matt Williamson battled hard yet perhaps struggled to get the reward his undoubted speed deserved on a slick West Row circuit, whilst Arron Mogridge endured a tough afternoon in the engine room of the side.

Luke Harris did battle to a creditable score on a hectic afternoon covering for Neale, but Cradley eventually ran out of steam despite a brave showing.

They will be back in action aiming to preserve their place at the top of the table with a mouth-watering clash with co-tenants Birmingham at Perry Barr on Wednesday (7.30).

MILDENHALL 46: Tom Bacon 13+4, Dan Halsey 11, Connor Coles 8+2, Connor Mountain 8+1, Jack Kingston 5, Luke Ruddick 1+1, Stefan Farnaby 0.

CRADLEY 41: Ellis Perks 14, Max Clegg 13, Matt Williamson 6, Luke Harris 5+1, Michael Neale 2+1, Arron Mogridge 1+1, Adam Portwood (no.8) 0, Nathan Greaves r/r.

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