Monday August 15, 2016
CRADLEY slipped to their first home defeat of the season as they went down 48-41 against local rivals Birmingham at Monmore Green.

The Motor Market Heathens experienced a night to forget as the table-topping Brummies emerged victorious in front of a bumper derby day crowd.

Faultless paid maximums from flying top two Ashley Morris and Max Clegg were not enough to see them come out on top in a tense encounter.

Team boss Will Pottinger admitted it was a tough night – but he insists their National League play-off hopes are certainly far from over.

Said Pottinger: “The heat-leaders got 35 points between them, but unfortunately it wasn’t enough to win so ultimately it’s very disappointing.

“We knew it was going to be a very hard meeting against a good Birmingham team, but hopefully we learn the lessons from tonight and take it into the rest of the season.

“There are enough points left to play for in order to get into the play-offs, so although this result is a blow it isn’t the end of the world.”

Clegg and Morris both went unbeaten from five rides, but Luke Chessell was the only other rider to record a race win when he triumphed under heavy pressure from Danyon Hume in heat five.

Richard Andrews fought hard for little reward in the engine room of the side, whilst reserve duo Bradley Andrews and Ben Basford failed to defeat an opposing rider.

With Birmingham No.7 Jack Parkinson-Blackburn piling up paid 16 points and five of their riders recording race wins, their all-around strength came out on top.

The Heathens will nonetheless be looking to bounce back and revive their National League play-off ambitions at Mildenhall on Sunday (3.30).

CRADLEY 41: Max Clegg 14+1, Ashley Morris 14+1, Luke Chessell 7, Richard Andrews 3+2, Ben Basford 2, Bradley Andrews 1, James Purchase R/R.
BIRMINGHAM 48: Jack Parkinson-Blackburn 11+5, Tom Bacon 10+1, Danyon Hume 8+1, Tom Perry 7, Darryl Ritchings 5+2, Liam Carr 4+1, Jack Smith 3.

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