Monday October 10, 2016
CRADLEY were dumped out of the National League play-offs after a 47-43 home defeat to reigning Champions Birmingham.

A brave effort, against a Brummies side who have lost just one meeting all season, wasn't enough to stop them falling to a fourth straight loss as they went down 100-80 on aggregate in the semi-finals of the competition.

In another example of a meeting which summed up their season, the Motor Market Heathens had plenty of firepower from their heat-leaders, but struggled for support from their lower order.

Fans favourite Ashley Morris roared to a 15-point maximum but couldn't hide his disappointment as hopes of a third National League title were officially ended by their Midland rivals.

Said Morris: "Of course I'm happy with another unbeaten night but it doesn't mean as much when the team have lost.

"We knew it was going to be tough on aggregate but thought we could at least get a win on the night but it wasn't to be.

"Birmingham were just way too strong for us in the end and fair play to them.

"We go to Eastbourne in the Knockout Cup on Saturday and we know we need to pull off something very special to get the win."

The Heathens trail 46-44 as they head to Arlington for the second leg of their KO Cup semi-final against the Eagles.

CRADLEY 43: Ashley Morris 15, Max Clegg 11+2, Ben Hopwood 8, Joe Lawlor 3+1 (no.8), Richard Andrews 3, Bradley Andrews 2+1, Ben Basford 1, James Purchase R/R.

BIRMINGHAM 47: Tom Bacon 11, Jack Smith 10+3, Jack Parkinson-Blackburn 7+3, Danny Ayres 7, Tom Perry 6+1, Darryl Ritchings 5+2, Lee Geary (no.8) 1, Danyon Hume R/R.

Birmingham win 100-80 on aggregate


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