MATCH REPORT: Birmingham defeated in nail biter

The Birmingham Monarchs Cycle Speedway team went down to an agonising 2 point defeat to reigning champions Wednesfield in a topsy turvy meeting with the lead changing hands on several occasions.

The Monarchs couldn’t have got off to a worse start with a tapes exclusion for Groves in Heat 1 followed by another Aces advantage in heat 2 (6-13). The next 3 heats were all drawn with the visitors holding the 7 point advantage.

Birmingham switched into another gear taking the next 5 heat advantages to move into control of the meeting after heat 10 (52-45) at the start of the 2nd half, Nathan Groves and Carl Winwood featuring in some excellent racing battles to assist their teams lead.

The teams swapped 6-4s in the 12th and 13th, maintaining the Monarchs advantage, but the Aces aren’t champions for no reason as they used every tactical option available to them to claw their way back into the closing stages.

A perhaps predictable maximum in heat 14 helped close the gap to 3 points (70-67). A further maximum in heat 16 saw the visitors retake the lead by a single point with only 2 races remaining. A costly tape infringement in the 17th for Groves as good as sealed the win for the visitors. A final race maximum for the home side being too little too late.

Johnson top scored with a superb maximum, whilst Timms only dropped a single point, the unavailability of 2 key riders proving too much in the end result.

BIRMINGHAM MONARCHS 87 – Ricki Johnson 20(5), Chris Timms 18+1(5), Carl Winwood 11+1(5), Mark Winwood 11+1(5), Nathan Groves 9+1(5), Ewan Hancox 9(5), Paul Timms 8+1(5), Jake Steel 1(1) v Wednesfield 89.

Another close encounter in the 2nd Division with another tight finish with the Aces again taking a narrow 1 point victory. The Monarchs needed an advantage in the final heat however it was Aces star youngster Tyler Bould who completed his maximum to take victory.

BIRMINGHAM 64 (69 – 5 penalty points) – Steve Hodgkinson 14+3(5), Jake Steel 12+1(5), Charlie Buet Gannon 12(5), Ryan Winwood 11+3(5), Bekah Humphries 10+2(5), Billy Winwood 10(5) v Wednesfield 65 (80 – 15 penalty points).

The juniors started the day with victory with Humphries completing a maximum. Connor Steel returned from injury with 2 rides and 2 wins.

BIRMINGHAM 50 – Bekah Humphries 14+2(4), Samuel Price 14+1(4), Charlie Buet Gannon 12+3(4), Connor Steel 8(2), Varni Chawla 2(2) v Wednesfield 30.

Both Charlie and Sam raced in the opening round of the Nationals YJL competition and both made the B finals. Sam finishing 2nd in the U8’s, Charlie 4th in the 12’s.
The Monarchs are back in action on Sunday at Perry Hall Playing Fields against Leicester. Tapes up 1pm with the Juniors, seniors at 2pm.