MATCH REPORT: Monarchs claim top spot

The Monarchs continued winning ways with an impressive victory over the previously undefeated East Park at Perry Hall Park today.

The Wolves were missing a couple of key riders in David Ball and Jack Hibberd but still came with a fight. Heat 2 saw Jamie Whetton excluded for moving at the gate whilst also Scott Millward also appeared to be about to fall over under starters orders. That bad luck was evened out when Nathan Groves moved in heat 3 at the start and took an exclusion. That race result evened it up from the previous heat with the scores level at 14 apiece.

Heat 4 was also shared after Marcus Wadhams took a tumble but Paul Timms won the heat to keep things even-stevens. The home side then put down the first marker with a good bit of team riding on the opening bend from Chris Timms who allowed Ewan Hancox to race away for what surely will be his First senior race win. A further 6-4 advantage from Millward & Carl Winwood in Heat 8 saw Birmingham close the 1st half with another drawn heat in the 9th and a 6 point advantage at 47-41.

The Monarchs opened the 2nd half strong with a maximum 7-3 courtesy of Chris Timms and Mark Winwood in heat 10 and a stronger 10 point lead 54-44. The next 4 heats were all drawn so the Wolves were gaining no advantage with races fast running out, but gained some luck in Heat 12 when Wadhams was left with no racing room on the 3rd bend and was collected by his own team partner Chris Timms when an advantage was on the cards.

Perhaps the killer blow was dealt in Heat 15 as Millward/C Timms took a decisive win over Smith/White that left the visitors 81-67 down with 3 heats left. There was a brief response as the Wolves took a 6-4 of their own – Brandon Whetton taking a win over Groves whilst his brother Jamie Whetton came in third ahead of Hancox.

However it was to be Birmingham`s day as they sealed victory by finishing off with 2 maximums to give a the scoreline a rather heightened finish. The Wolves fought hard but were always on the back foot but had Brandon Whetton and Jamie Ball contributing their top scores. For the Monarchs it was consistent throughout and whilst Chris Timms stole the headlines with a paid maximum, his dad Paul Timms had 3 excellent races to add 10 points from reserve.

BIRMINGHAM MONARCHS 99 – Marcus Wadhams 14(5), Ewan Hancox 8(4), Scott Millward 17+1(5), Carl Winwood 8+1(4), Nathan Groves 8+2(5), Mark Winwood 18(5), Paul Timms 10(3), Chris Timms 16+4(5).
EAST PARK 79 – Brandon Whetton 16(5), Will Cartwright 5(5), Jamie Ball 13+2(5), Jamie Whetton 9(5), Lee Kemp 12+1(5), Matt Smith 13(5), Zak White 6(3), Sam Bishop 5(3).

In the Division 2 match the Wolves had just a little too much strength in depth as the Monarchs elected to give all 8 riders shared rides. In the first 4 heats only the 6-4 in Heat 2 had split the sides. Heat 5 saw the first change for the Monarchs as Billy Winwood came in to replace Hancox but a strong Wolves 7-3 courtesy of Bishop/Kemp in heat 5 increased there 2 point lead to 6.

The Wolves had the heat winners in Kemp & Brandon Whetton whilst only Bob Prince managed to take the chequered flag for the Monarchs so the rest of the meeting was all about just how many the Wolves would win by. It was a 14 point winning margin after Heat 13.

BIRMINGHAM MONARCHS 58 – Steve Hodgkinson 6+2(3), Marc Phipps 8+2(4), Emily Pitt 6+1(3), Bob Prince 14(4), Ewan Hancox 12(4), Reece Winwood 4(3), Natalie Timms 2(2), Billy Winwood 6+1(3).
EAST PARK 72 – Brandon Whetton 19+1(5), Liam Cartwright 3(3), Lee Kemp 18+2(5), Sam Bishop 11(4), Zak White 12+1(4), Josh Hill 7+2(3), Catherine Hutchings 1(1), Kieran Hutchings 1(1).

The day started with a friendly Challenge match for the younger riders with Birmingham electing to put out all the young and newcomers. East Park contained a couple of recent newcomers to the sport. However the strength of their top end meant that the Wolves were just always a step ahead with the likes of Brandon Whetton, Josh Hill and Zak White racing unbeaten.

Despite the age gap for the young Monarchs they all got stuck in and were prepared to race. Chester Powell (on his team debut) fell on the parade to add to his injuries already collected in training but dusted himself off to show that he has some pace once he starts staying on his bike!

Top scorer for the Monarchs was Emily Pitt who is growing in confidence and ability with every meeting and chased Josh Hill hard in Heat 11 trying to get underneath him down the back straight and kept the challenge on into the last bend. Special mention to Billy Winwood and Connor Steel who both scored 9 points.

BIRMINGHAM MONARCHS 57 – Emily Pitt 11(4), Ryan Winwood 6+2(4), Billy Winwood 9+1(4), Marc Phipps 8+3(4), Connor Steel 9(4), Chester Powell 7+1(3), Natalie Timms 7+2(3).
EAST PARK 73 – Zak White 16(4), Katherine Hutchings 4(4), Liam Cartwright 13(4), Josh Hill 16+4(5), Kieran Hutchings 4(4), Brandon Whetton 16(4).