Friday August 21, 2015
DEPLETED Cradley put up a brave fight before slipping to a narrow 46-44 defeat at the hands of King's Lynn at the Adrian Flux Arena.

The Motor Market Heathens were always set to face a tough task as they travelled to Norfolk without Max Clegg and Michael Neale, whilst they were dealt a further blow with guest Darryl Ritchings ruled out with a hand injury suffered riding for Swindon on Thursday.

Their cause was not helped by a string of falls and mechanical gremlins leaving them trailing by 10 entering the final three races - and although they launched a dramatic fightback to set up a last-heat decider they fell agonisingly short of an unlikely win.

They did emerge with a well-deserved consolation point to show for their efforts, but they remain third in the National League table - one point behind Eastbourne and 15 points adrift of runaway leaders Birmingham.

Matt Williamson bounced back from a fall whilst leading his opening ride to notch 11 points including victory in heat 15, but partner Dan Greenwood was shut out by King's Lynn pair Josh Bailey and Scott Campos to condemn the Heathens to a disappointing defeat.

Greenwood and Williamson impressed whilst Connor Mountain put in a strong showing as a late replacement for Ritchings at No.4.

Arron Mogridge and Ellis Perks also demonstrated plenty of positive signs but were blighted by falls and bike problems respectively as the visitors ran 11 costly last places.

Reserve Luke Harris also endured a tough evening on his return to the side - and team boss Will Pottinger admitted he was left frustrated by a defeat which leaves their title dreams looking increasingly slim.

However, he has called on his side to bounce back as they travel to Coventry on Sunday (4pm).

"I suppose a point is better than nothing, but it's disappointing because we dropped a lot of points from scoring positons," said Pottinger.

"It was always going to be tough given the riders we had missing, but it's very frustrating because we put ourselves in the positons to win but didn't take advantage.

"We did well to take it to a last heat decider, but we just fell short in the end. As far as the title goes we always knew we'd be relying on Birmingham to drop points, and that is still the case.

"All we can do is keep trying to get the best results possible from our remaining meetings and hope we end up with more points than Birmingham and Eastbourne.

"We look forward to Sunday's meeting at Coventry now, we have to approach it in a positive manner and although they are a good team we need to go and get a result."

KING'S LYNN 46: Josh Bailey 17, Scott Campos 9+2, Ryan Kinsley 7+1, Tom Stokes 5+1, Shane Hazelden 4+1, Layne Cupitt 3+1, Jake Knight 1.

CRADLEY 44: Matt Williamson 11, Dan Greenwood 9+2, Connor Mountain 8, Arron Mogridge 7+2, Ellis Perks 7, Luke Harris 2, Michael Neale R/R.

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