Thursday September 02, 2010
DUDLEY Heathens pulled off a sensational last-gasp 49-44 win at the Isle of Wight on Thursday to go second in the National League.

Aussie ace Jake Anderson had one of his best nights of the season with a 13-point score and he was the last heat hero alongside skipper Lee Smart who bagged 14+2.

The former Cradley club suffered a nightmare start when they lost key reserve Richard Franklin with concussion after a crash in the second race. Ashley Morris, Franklin’s reserve colleague, deserves wonderful credit for his 9+3 from seven outings.

They found themselves 17-7 down but Smart won a tactical ride in Heat 5 to inspire a 7-2 to reduce the deficit to 19-14.

But Heathens’ misfortune struck again when Tom Perry was penalised with a 15-metre handicap for touching the tapes, but he still managed third place with Anderson nothing a fine win and Will Pottinger’s men were just 24-21 down.
Heathens managed to take the lead for the first time in the meeting with a maximum 5-1 from Smart and Micky Dyer in Heat 11.

It looked like Heathens could take a major grip on the match in Heat 13 as Smart and Barrie Evans were set for a maximum before Evans slipped – and just one-point split the sides with two heats remaining.

Heathens held a slender one-point lead going into the last race after Anderson’s Heat 14 win – and he partnered Smart in the all-important last race decider.

At the second attempt to run the race, Anderson and Smart combined to revive memories of the great Billy Hamill and Greg Hancock partnership which won many meetings for the Heathens.

Jubilant boss Will Pottinger said: “This was typical of our season, we had to dig deep and show great character on a track many of our boys had never seen before.

“We’re on the ferry going home and we’re buzzing. It’s been a great night and we just have to keep this momentum going for the rest of the season.

“Rich (Franklin) was taken away by ambulance as a precaution but he should be fine for next Wednesday when we face Plymouth at Birmingham.”

ISLE OF WIGHT: Lee Smethills 12, Danny Warwick 8, Dean Felton 7+1, Nick Simmons 7, Tom Hill 4+1, Paul Starke 3+2, John Resch 3.

DUDLEY: Lee Smart 14+2, Jake Anderson 13, Ashley Morris 9+3, Barrie Evans 5+1, Micky Dyer 4, Tom Perry 4, Richard Franklin 0.

Share This:   Facebook Twitter