Monday May 21, 2018
CRADLEY’S National Trophy hopes are hanging in the balance after their first defeat of the season.

Heathens slipped up 49-40 at the hands of fellow homeless club Coventry at Monmore on a night of tension and drama.

The absence of brilliant teenager Drew Kemp was too much for Heathens to cope with which is clearly a concern going forward as he will also miss the trip to Buxton on Sunday.

New signing Alfie Bowtell did a fine job on debut for the Motor Market Heathens with 12+3 from his six outings – but there were too many weak links in the home side.

Kyle Bickley did well to hold off former Heathens skipper Jon Armstrong for an important win in Heat 12 to keep Cradley within five of the visitors.

But when the brilliant Connor Mountain passed Heathens skipper Adam Roynon in Heat 13 it was a crushing blow for Will Pottinger’s men – and they were never likely to recover from 41-36 down.

Victory was assured for Coventry when former Heathens title winner Danny Phillips secured a brilliant win ahead of Jason Edwards with Jamie Halder third to go seven points up with one to go.

Heathens co-promoter Nigel Pearson said: “With us already missing a key rider like Drew Kemp it’s obvious we needed the remaining lads to step up to the plate.

“It’s disappointing to lose, but there were some positives and Jason Edwards impressed us particularly as well as Alfie Bowtell on debut.

“I thought Will Pottinger, or manager, did everything right, his programme changes were spot on and I don’t think he could have done anything more than he did.

“Coventry were the better all-round side and I congratulate them for that. They fully deserved their win.

“It means we are in a real battle for qualification for the final now. We cannot afford to be a four-man team and we must do better.

“People expected us to walk away with this group – it just shows you never know what this sport will throw at you next!”

CRADLEY 40: Jason Edwards 12+3, Alfie Bowtell 11+1, Adam Roynon 10, Kyle Bickley 7, Conor Dwyer 0, James Chattin 0, Bradley Andrews r/r

COVENTRY 49: Connor Mountain 15, Jon Armstrong 10+2, Danny Phillips 10, Luke Harris 5+1, Jamie Halder 5+1, Luke Ruddick 3, Ryan MacDonald 1+1


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