Monday May 06, 2019
CRADLEY pulled off a stunning last gasp win on a dramatic return to league racing.

The Anchor Logistics Heathens sealed a final race 5-1 to beat Mildenhall 46-44 at Monmore – and that was the only time they led over the course of the 15 heats.

It looked as though former Heathen Danny Ayres was going to come back to haunt his former club.
The Mildenhall No.1 was unbeaten in his four programmed rides and made the best start in the final race.

But Heathens’ heat-leaders Tom Brennan and Max Clegg brought the house down with a sensational display of grit and determination.
First Brennan dived under Ayres into bend three, before captain Clegg also worked his way by to hit the front.
They clung on to take the chequered flag, leaving the men from Suffolk wondering what might have been.

In fact they could’ve wrapped up an away win in the penultimate race as they sat on a maximum – but Fen Tigers’ reserve Macauley Leek binned it on bend three after being caught unawares by returning home rider Luke Harris who charged under him, ultimately forcing the error.

But for a team who hadn’t ridden together previously, the Heathens will take plenty of heart and confidence from their first performance back in the National League.

Team Manager Will Pottinger said: “You can’t beat that – there’s no better way to win in terms of drama and emotion than in a last heat decider.
“We’re delighted to open our season with a victory, especially as there wasn’t much between the sides all night.
“We won plenty of races but we didn’t really have the back-up to turn them into heat advantages in the main.
“For the lads lower down the team this was their first meeting at this level tonight and I’m sure they’ll learn a lot from this one and improve as the season goes along.
“It was always a bit much to expect them to score lots of points, but the ones they did manage proved crucial in the end.
“I thought our top three in particular were brilliant tonight and they certainly came up with the goods from their positions.
“Mildenhall leave with a point and I think that’s only fair based on the meeting as a whole.
“But we’re over the moon with the way we’ve dug in to get this win and it’s certainly something we can build on.”

Powerhouse trio Clegg, Brennan and ex-Mildenhall man Danny Halsey recorded eight wins between them and contributed 35 of the home side’s 46 points.
Harris enjoyed a steady night’s work while youngsters Harry McGurk, Tom Spencer and Lewis Whitmore were all able to chip in with some vital contributions which just about saw the Heathens eventually get over the line on a night of learning for the trio.
Cradley head to the Isle of Wight on Thursday for the first leg of their Knockout Cup tie ahead of the return at Monmore on Monday, May 20.

CRADLEY 46: Max Clegg 13, Tom Brennan 11+2, Dan Halsey 11, Luke Harris 6+2, Tom Spencer 2+2. Harry McGurk 2, Lewis Whitmore 1.
MILDENHALL 44: Danny Ayres 13, Jason Edwards 9, Macauley Leek 7+3, Matt Marson 5, Charlie Brooks 4+2, David Wallinger 4, Elliot Kelly 2+1.

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