CLUB NEWS: Mixed success for Monarchs in Club Championships
Birmingham Monarchs had varying degrees of success in the National club championships this weekend in Newport and Poole with the junior teams and veterans in action.
Saturday saw the under 12s and and Under 14s teams taking to the track however neither team was able to track full line ups, so progression was unlikely from the off. In the U12s Connor Steel battled hard for his points, whilst Rebekah Humphries was performing way above her experience until a fall in her 3rd race saw an end to her day. The team limped home 4th in the semi final.
In the Under 14s, injuries to Humphries as well as Dylan Hawtin meant again the Monarchs were only able to track 3 riders in the final. Billy Winwood top scored with some forceful riding, and both Ryan Winwood and Steel rode well, but again another 4th place finish.
Sunday was the turn of the over 40s team in Poole with hopes of a rostrum place. Overwhelming favourites were 5 times and current champions, Leicester, who started strong, unbeaten until heat 8.
The Monarchs started slowly, with Paul Timms winning heat 2, either side of costly mistakes for Steve Hodgkinson (heat 1) and Carl Winwood (heat 3), however the second block of races saw more consistent performances, and at the half way stage were level in third with host club Poole and one behind Wednesfield.
Another steady third block of heats saw Birmingham move level with Wednesfield in second spot, with Leicester moving closer to the title on 40. Poole’s challenge began to fade, so with every race it was now a two way battle for runner up spot. With one race to go Mark Winwood had to take a second place at least to pass the Aces of Wednesfield.
Winwood briefly challenged on the opening corner, but soon settled into a safe second place to secure the runner up position overall, the club’s highest position for over a decade and beating the third place from 2015.
Birmingham’s senior team came through their semi-final, dubbed “the group of death” on Monday in the Open event. The Monarchs were just one point behind in the opening round of races, but two exclusions in the second round of races put paid to their chances of taking the title.
Unfortunately U16s Monarchs did not qualify for the U16 final, they lost out to Ipswich, Coventry and Sheffield in the second semi-final.
The next home fixture will be Saturday 3rd June, as Birmingham host the 4th and final regional round of the BYJL, where trophies will be presented to the winners.
Training continues at the track every Tuesday and Thursday. Under 16s at 6pm, seniors at 7pm.