Wednesday October 02, 2019
CRADLEY captain Max Clegg conceded they were outclassed by an impressive Leicester side on Wednesday.

The Anchor Logistics Heathens lost 53-37 in the first leg of their National League Play-Off Semi-Final.
It was always going to be a big ask for the Heathens against a strong Leicester side who finished 14-points ahead of them in the table to top the regular standings.
The loss of their home track advantage also told though; with Monmore Green unavailable, the Heathens were forced to stage their home leg at Birmingham’s Perry Barr Stadium.
And with Leicester possessing plenty of experience around the second city circuit, the odds were well and truly stacked against the former Dudley Wood outfit.
Birmingham’s track staff worked wonders just to get the fixture on considering the amount of recent rain in the region, but that was little consolation to the Heathens who were simply beaten by the better team.
“Leicester didn’t finish top of the league for no reason,” Clegg said.
“They’ve got big-hitters throughout and they were better than us on the night as well.
“We can’t have any complaints and of course we’re disappointed, but we did what we could and we thank the fans for coming and getting behind us.”
Cradley’s night got off to the worst possible start when Clegg was on the wrong end of a 5-1 after missing the gate and struggling with conditions in the opener.
But they had some early fortune in Heat 2 when Leicester reserve Josh Embleton slid off on the first bend mid-race while the visitors sat on another maximum.
Heathens took advantage of a 15-metre handicap handed to Leicester heat-leader Luke Ruddick for delaying the initial start of Heat 3 with Jack Smith, who won the National League with Birmingham in 2015 and 2016, leading a 4-2 with Tom Spencer able to keep Ruddick at bay.
Leicester’s top two Danyon Hume and Ellis Perks took the chequered flag in back-to-back 4-2s for the hosts as they opened up a six-point lead.
Clegg showed his class to bounce back to get the better of Hume in Heat 6 with the gap back to four as guest Luke Priest saw off Embleton for third.
The Heathens continued to battle - but ultimately struggled to hit their opponents hard.
Danny Halsey made a lightning start to help him on his way in the seventh before the Lion Cubs struck another maximum in Heat 8.
Smith tried to squeeze Hume out of bend two in the ninth, but the visitors’ skipper hit the front around the outside before another 3-3 followed in Heat 10 with Clegg adding another win to his tally.
Already sitting comfortably, Leicester then took full control of the tie with two successive 5-1s - and it was almost three until Hume spun off on lap three of Heat 13.
Smith and Clegg sealed late consolation heat victories but the Heathens have more than a mountain to climb in Saturday’s second leg at the Paul Chapman and Sons Arena (5.30).
CRADLEY 37: Max Clegg 12, Jack Smith 10, Danny Halsey 6+1, Tom Spencer 3+1, Harry McGurk 2+1, Luke Priest 2, James Chattin 2.
LEICESTER 53: Ellis Perks 13+1, Danyon Hume 10, Dan Thompson 8+2, Ryan Terry-Daley 8+1, Luke Ruddick 7, Joe Thompson 5+3, Josh Embleton 2+1.

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