CLUB NEWS: Monarchs season is finally underway with victory
Birmingham Monarchs Cycle Speedway club finally got their season underway with a league win in Coventry on Sunday. The Sabres had already ridden one league match which balanced up the teams prior to start time.
The first 5 heats were drawn and the racing super fast on an excellently prepared track. Heats 6 and 7 changed all that, with two maximums from the visitors to put the monarchs up by 8 points (31-39).
The home side were unable to take many heat advantages whilst the Birmingham men added another of their own in the 12th to extend the lead to 11 (54-65).
The Monarchs secured the victory with two races remaining in the 16th by drawing that heat, one of 12 drawn heats on the day. Mark Winwood top scored for the Monarchs on paid 18.
Division one scorers
Coventry 82 V Birmingham Monarchs 96 – Mark Winwood 17+1 (5), Ewan Hancox 16+1 (5), Ricki Johnson 15+2 (5), Luke Draisey 14+2 (5), Chris Timms 13+2 (5), Nathan Groves 13+2 (5), Jake Steel 5(3), Paul Timms 4+1 (3).
Nathan Groves named man of the match.
The day opened with the junior Division 3 fixture. Coventry have been the only team to have beaten the 3 times current champions in the past 3 season, so a tough encounter was expected. The Junior Monarchs however dominated from the off with 4 riders unbeaten on the day.
Division 3 scorers
Coventry 51 v Birmingham Monarchs 69 – Connor Steel 16 (4), Charlie Buet Gannon 14 (4), Bekah Humphries 13+3 (4), Ryan Winwood 11+1 (3), Billy Winwood 8 (2), Samuel Price 4 (4), Issy Buet Gannon 3 (3).
Coventry gained revenge in the 2nd Division fixture by taking victory 79 v 65. The youthful Sabres leading from the off were held to drawn heats in 12 of the 15 heats. However they took advantages in the other 3 heats. Josh Hill made his debut and despite 2 falls managed double figures.
Division 2 scorers
Coventry 79 v Birmingham 65 (70 – 5 penalty points) – Steve Hodgkinson 14+1 (4), Billy Winwood 14+1 (5), Jake Steel 11 (5), Josh Hill 10 (5), Ryan Winwood 9 (4), Connor Steel 6+1 (2), Natalie Timms 4+1 (2), Bekah Humphries 2 (2).
There is no action at Perry Hall Playing Fields this Sunday (22nd) with the team next in action on 29th April at East Park.
Keep up to date with Birmingham Monarchs news at birminghammonarchs.wordpress.com, and follow the Monarchs on Twitter with the handle @brummonarchs.
Report by Steve Hodgkinson. Photos taken by Paul Devine.