Wednesday September 23, 2015
CRADLEY endured a night to forget as they slipped to a 54-36 Gold Cup semi-final defeat against Birmingham.

The Motor Market Heathens suffered a number of mechanical issues and also made life more difficult for themselves as they were outgated for the majority of the night.

However, the major defining point of the meeting was when No.1 Max Clegg was forced to withdraw from the meeting after heat six following a heavy landing after clattering the wooden fence.

Team manager Will Pottinger admits it was another bitterly disappointing night for his side who need to overturn an 18-point deficit next week to reach the Gold Cup Final.

Said Pottinger: "When you're already using rider replacement you can't afford for anyone to have an off night or for anyone else to pick up an injury - unfortunately both of those things happened to us tonight.

"Michael Neale and Tyler (Govier) really struggled and the injury to Max didn't help our cause one bit. That left us with more-or-less a three man team and when we're up against a team with the strength that Birmingham have got we never stood a chance the way things panned out.

"Hopefully Max is given the all clear from the hospital as his hand looked pretty swollen and he was very dazed. Fingers crossed he's fit to take his place for the rest of the season. He's been the shining light of what has been an otherwise tough year and we need him at No.1 with a couple of important meetings still to come."

Matt Williamson put in yet another impressive home display to top score for the Heathens.

Arron Mogridge was kept busy at reserve yet again as he picked up double-figures from seven rides.

Darryl Ritchings gave it his all on a steady night from the guest No.3.

Michael Neale had a disastrous night mechanical wise while Tyler Govier struggled to find the right set-up to get amongst the points also.

CRADLEY 36: Matt Williamson 13, Arron Mogridge 12+2, Darryl Ritchings 8+1, Max Clegg 2, Michael Neale 1, Tyler Govier 0.

BIRMINGHAM 54: Adam Ellis 15, Zach Wajtknecht 11, Tom Perry 10+1, Jack Parkinson-Blackburn 6+1, Jack Smith 5+2, Adam Kirby 2.

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