Monday July 29, 2019
CRADLEY prevailed in a dramatic Midlands derby to pick up three more invaluable league points against Stoke.

The Anchor Logistics Heathens held their nerve to secure a 48-42 win to move up to third in the standings.

They had to overcome an early deficit though in a clash that had plenty of thrills and spills from the off.

The hosts were reduced to six riders early on when reserve Sheldon Davies was knocked unconscious after a nasty first bend tangle with Stoke guest James Chattin.

Either side of that, Cradley’s most experienced riders Max Clegg and Danny Halsey were both punished with 15-metre handicaps in the opening exchanges and had to battle hard to settle for second place.

Heathens looked set to pull level in Heat Five until Halsey lost control and shot across the the corner of the infield on the last lap whilst leading. That left the hosts with just one race win in the opening five and they knew improvement was needed.

They suddenly found their winning formula though and pulled level in the ninth with straight wins from Smith, Harris and Halsey.

And when Captain Clegg reeled off a second straight win in Heat Ten, with Harris able to make a smart move under experienced campaigner Luke Priest for third, Heathens finally moved in front for the very first time.

Stoke hit back though courtesy of two ex-Cradley racers Jason Edwards and Joe Lawlor taking the chequered flag and Halsey remarkably picked himself out of the air fence in the penultimate race after being collected in a shocking, high-speed collision which left three riders on the deck, to pick up another important race win for the hosts.

But it was two big race advantages from heat-leader duo Clegg and Smith in Heats 13 and 15 that made the difference for Cradley who also let Stoke head back up the M6 with a consolation league point after Connor Coles split the pair in the final race.

Anchor Logistics Heathens team boss Will Pottinger said: “We got the win in the end and that’s the main thing.

“It was far from straightforward though; it was quite disastrous in the first few races to be honest but we eventually managed to get going and managed to turn things around.

“We’d have ideally liked to have sent Stoke home with nothing, but it wasn’t to be and in all honesty they probably did deserve their point.”

The Heathens now face a couple of weeks off before heading to league leaders Leicester on Saturday, August 17 (7.30).

CRADLEY 48: Max Clegg 14, Jack Smith 10+1, Danny Halsey 8, Luke Harris 6+1, Harry McGurk 5+2, Tom Spencer 5, Sheldon Davies 0.
STOKE 42: Joe Lawlor 10, Jason Edwards 10, Connor Coles 9, Luke Priest 4+1, Shelby Rutherford 3+1, James Chattin 3+1, Joe Alcock 3+1.


Share This:   Facebook Twitter