Monday July 15, 2019
CRADLEY picked up a useful league point by restricting highly-fancied Kent to a 41-37 victory at Central Park.

An extraordinary meeting featured a spate of crashes and both sides utilised the tactical substitute facility by Heat 9, before a halt was called due to the curfew with two races remaining.

The home side, already without two of their top five, lost Alex Spooner with a dislocated shoulder in a Heat 1 spill, but that was compensated by additional rides for returning Dan Gilkes at reserve.

For the Heathens, there was an impressive display from second-string Luke Harris on his old home track, and he took the scalp of Kings’ No.1 Anders Rowe in the first race.

Harris then combined with skipper Max Clegg for a 5-1 in Heat 5 to take the visitors six points up – but as the Kings paired Drew Kemp with Rowe in the next, Jack Smith demolished the back straight fence and Kent collected the first of three successive maximums.

The second of those featured a huge crash involving Gilkes and the Heathens’ Tom Spencer, who was disqualified after collecting his rival and taking both into the fence.

Heathens found themselves six points down but Clegg came into Heat 9 and joined Smith for a 5-1 over Jason Edwards, with the clock counting down to the impending curfew.

The home side extended their lead to four, before Clegg pulled off a wonderful Heat 13 effort to re-pass Kemp on the last lap.

No more racing was possible as the time reached 8.30pm, with attempts to run Heat 14 halted by Spencer breaking the tapes, so the result was declared with the Heathens taking a point.

Boss Will Pottinger said: “Kent are a tough team, and to come away with a point is a good result for us.

“I suppose it’s a bit disappointing that we let it slip away in the middle of the meeting starting with their tactical substitution, but then we got to use one ourselves, which doesn’t happen too often.

“At that stage you’d take a point, Max did a great ride in Heat 13 and then it was unlucky for Tom who was too eager at the start in Heat 14.”

KENT 41: Drew Kemp 12+1, Dan Gilkes 10, Anders Rowe 8+2, Jason Edwards 6, Jake Mulford 5+3, Alex Spooner 0, Rob Ledwith R/R.
CRADLEY 37: Max Clegg 12, Dan Halsey 8, Luke Harris 7+2, Jack Smith 5+1, Sheldon Davies 3, Tom Spencer 1+1, Harry McGurk 1+1.
Abandoned after 13 heats - Curfew - RESULT STANDS.

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