MATCH REPORT: Monarchs take Midland League title

Birmingham Monarchs finally confirmed that they are 2014 Midland League Division One Champions.

Turn the clock back 12 months and the side were bottom of the Elite League and doom and gloom was around and if someone would of said next year the side would be top of the league no doubt most would think you were crazy. But the side dropped from the Elite and the focus with the regional league has helped the side be stronger with old riders coming back and buzzing youngsters coming through thanks to Steve Hodgkinson and his team.

Birmingham faced a Leicester side that were no walkover and the Monarchs knew they had to win as results elsewhere could of seen the title taken away from their grasp. The home side were at full strength with just Marcus Wadhams unavailable. Leicester had a strong side with Craig Marchant and Kev Burns in the spine of the Leicester side and also Sheffield regular Ryan Hoyland.

Heat one saw Birmingham take a 6-4 advantage as Scott Millward got the better of Marchant with Carl Winwood holding third place. Kev Burns took the honours in heat two with Andy James and Chris Timms packing in behind to take a share of the spoils. Birmingham took two further heat advantages including a 6-3 in heat four as Michelle Whitehead was excluded after a tangle with Bob Prince.

Birmingham then extended the lead with a 7-3 in heat five as Paul Timms rolled back the years with a fine win and supported well by Carl Winwood to give the Perry Barr side a 30-19 lead. Heat six saw Kev Burns take a second win and hold the men in red and white as Mark Winwood and Nathan Groves battled for a 5-5 heat. Heat seven Birmingham extended the advantage to 13 points as Scott Millward claimed his third win of the afternoon ahead of Hoyland and Winwood. Just before the interval Bob Prince and Nathan Groves teamed up for a 7-3 ahead of Michelle Whitehead and Kieran Yateman to give the champions elect a 53-36 lead.

Heat ten saw fans already writing the score down as once more Kev Burns was unbeatable this time ahead of Mark Winwood and Paul Timms who the day before took the Eurovet over 40’s and 50’s honours at Wednesfield. Skipper Chris Timms took the flag on heat eleven though was shadowed all the way by Ryan Hoyland with Bob Prince picking up third to make the scores 64-45.

Heat twelve saw the first heat advantage for Leicester as once more Kev Burns took the flag for the fourth time as the East Midlanders got a 6-4 but by now Birmingham held a 17 point lead. Heat fourteen saw the third 7-3 maximum for Birmingham as Andy James and Bob Prince showed that they have both still not lost their touch!

Heat fifteen saw an exclusion for Chris Timms as the referee judged the captain pulled back on Hoyland but by now Birmingham were guaranteed the win. Heat eighteen saw the final 7-3 as Mark Winwood and Chris Timms finished the meeting and the season on a positive to give the side a 100-78 win and to claim the Midland League.

Birmingham Monarchs 100 – S.Millward 19, C.Winwood 10, C.Timms 13, A.James 8, N.Groves 13, M.Winwood 16, B.Prince 11, P.Timms 10

Leicester Monarchs 78 – S.Whitehead 8, C.Marchant 12, K.Yateman 8, K.Burns 20, M.Baldock 6, R.Hoyland 15, M.Whitehead 4, L.Whitehead 5

In the third division fixture Birmingham were too strong for the young Leicester side. Emily Pitt and Ewan Hancox did some fine team riding and also Marc Phipps impressed with his team riding including two wins.

Monarchs 71 – N.Timms 5, C.Steel 15, M.Phipps 17, B.Winwood 12, E.Hancox 6, E.Pitt 14, R.Stevenson 5

Leicester 51 – C.Whitehead 11, M.Wells 7, R.Haywood 6, S.Sinclair-Black 5, A.Rigley 8, J.Duckham 12