MATCH REPORT: Monarchs give gutsy performance

The Monarchs of Birmingham and Leicester clashed today at Slater Street in Midland League action with great action all afternoon as three meeting took place.

Firstly the Division Three meeting was held a little later than usual as riders struggled to get to the Leicester track with an accident on the motorway.

Leicester took the honours as Abi Dukham nearly made it through the card as Joel and Mia Dukham gave good support for the home side. Birmingham had a busy Ewan Hancox as top scorer but had great support from Marc Phipps and Billy Winwood as Phipps even took the flag on heat 11.

Leicester 72: M. Dukham 12, Haywood 9, A. Dukham 15, A. Risley 5, Olsen 13, J. Dukham 14, E. Risley 4

Birmingham 58: Stevenson 6, Steele 5, Hancox 14, Phipps 10, B. Winwood 9, R. Winwood 10, Donlan 4

In the first team fixture Birmingham had Chris Timms and Scott Millward unavailable but Marcus Wadhams was available. Leicester has a strong look about them with Craig Marchant in the blue and yellow along with Norman Venson and the Whitehead riders who have had a link with Leicester through the years.

The first four heats saw shared heats as Wadhams took two wins in them as well as Marchant and Mark Winwood. Heat five saw the first advantage as Paul Timms took the flag as Nicky Whitehead took an unfortunate tumble on the third bend as team mate Walling took second ahead of Hancox.

Heat six to eight once more were shared as the results reflected on how even the sides looked on paper. Just before the interval Birmingham claimed the first 7-3 of the afternoon and the second advantage as Nathan Groves and Phil Widdas beat the Whitehead pairing of Lucy and Michelle. Phil rolling back the years with the second place and even surprising himself as the oxygen mask and towels were ready for the break as Birmingham went into it leading 48-42.

Heat ten saw a shared heat as Mark Whitehead took the flag ahead of Widdas and Carl Winwood. Heat eleven and Birmingham then got a 6-4 advantage as Mark Winwood had a great battle with Marchant whilst Paul Timms coming in on a tactical picked up third place. Heat twelve Leicester hit straight back with a 7-3 as Nicky Whitehead and Norman Venson put the home side within four points of the visitors.

Heat fourteen saw the second 7-3 of the afternoon and it went the way of Birmingham once more as Paul Timms and Mark Winwood took the honours over Liam Wood and Josh Walling to help the Perry Park side extend their lead. With a couple more shared heats the points were heading to the away side and the penultimate heat saw the final 7-3 as Groves and Timms, coming in for Hodgkinson, made sure of the points.

The final heat saw a nasty coming together between Marchant and Mark Winwood with the home rider taking a tumble and being excluded. Marchant went nursing a injury and hopefully stumpz will be ok.

Leicester Monarchs 83: Venson 12, N. Whitehead 13, Marchant 15, Wood 6, Mi. Whitehead 10, Ma Whitehead 17, L. Whitehead 5, Walling 5

Birmingham Monarchs 96: Wadhams 19, Hancox 8, Groves 16, C. Winwood 8, M. Winwood 18, Hodgkinson 4, Widdas 10, Timms 13

In the Combination fixture Leicester once more had strength in depth but the Birmingham side have youngsters who are still learning their trade and will be no doubt worrying riders a little older than them soon as they are doing well in their respective age groups. Steve Haywood top scored for the East Midlanders as Chloe Whitehead showed she will be another female rider to look out for in the future. Birmingham had Ewan Hancox who nearly went through the card just dropping a point in his last race to Sarah Olsen.

Leicester 72: A. Dukham 9, M. Dukham 8, E. Risley 10, Whitehead 11, Olsen 10, Haywood 12, J. Dukham 8, A. Risley 4

Birmingham 57: Hancox 15, Phipps 8, R. Winwood 5, B. Winwood 11, Stevenson 8, Donlan 2, Hodgkinson 8.