MATCH REPORT: Monarchs lose title to Aces

After their success at the British team knockout cup, Wednesfield travelled to Birmingham in hope of repeating their success over the Monarchs in order to become midland league champions.

Both sides were weakened by their lack of riders available on the day. The Birmingham side were without Matt Smith, Scott Millward, the Winwood brothers, and their captain, Chris Timms. While Wednesfield were without Ben Mould, and junior riders Brandon Whetton and Carl Parfitt.

The afternoon kicked off with two drawn heats, followed by a 6-4 to Wednesfield’s pairing of Paul Heard and Dave Meanley. A further 2 drawn heats indicated neither teams were showing signs of weakness.

But it was the stronger side of the Aces who began to edge ahead of the Monarchs, starting with a 7-3 followed by two 6-4s. Chris Jewkes, Paul Heard and Mark Griffiths took the win in these heats, with some great battles for second and third place, especially in heat 8 where some divine team riding by Birmingham’s Nathan Groves and Ricki Johnson, allowed Groves to take second place behind Griffiths.

A fifth drawn heat saw the scores still close at 40-50 to Wednesfield by half time. Another 7-3 maximum to the Aces saw their lead begin to extend once again. However Birmingham drew back Wednesfield’s advantage with a 7-3 to Johnson and Groves, after a slip for Heard saw him pushed to the back of the race.

Heat advantages to both sides meant Wednesfield were unable to significantly extend their lead over the Monarchs, resulting in a final score of 81-98 to the Aces. Although all of the top scorers were the usual first team riders, credit is due to the usual second team riders including Alex Aris, Adam Tipton and Ieuan Payne, who chased hard to pick up valuable points for their teams.

On behalf of the Birmingham Monarchs, we would like to congratulate Wednesfield Aces 1st team on becoming the new midland league champions!

Birmingham 81
Andy James 13, Ieuan Payne 7, Ricki Johnson 13+3, Nathan Groves 15+1, Bob Prince 6+1, Ewan Hancox 9, Paul Timms 8+1, Steve Hodgkinson 10+3

Wednesfield 98
Lee Kemp 18, Adam Tipton 3, Lee Aris 16+1, Chris Jewkes 17+3, Paul Heard 16, Dave Meanley 9, Alex Aris 3, Mark Griffiths 16+1

In the second division match, Wednesfield were unable to field a team so were forced to use all of their first team riders minus Lee Aris and Dave Meanley. This meant that they were already giving away 30 penalty points. However, because many of Birmingham’s second team riders had been recruited to the first team, the Monarchs were giving away 15 penalty points for the use of Paul Timms, Ewan Hancox and Ieuan Payne in both fixtures.

Wednesfield’s strength shone straight from the start with a maximum to Chris Jewkes and Lee Kemp with the Birmingham riders chasing hard behind. The third heat saw the start of three consecutive 7-3’s to Wednesfield with some great team riding by Griffiths and Heard to allow the younger riders of Alex Aris and Adam Tipton to take the wins. Birmingham managed to hinder the Aces progress with a shared heat, where Emily Pitt made a pass on the first lap to claim 3rd place behind team mate Paul Timms.

Heat 8 saw a close battle for third place between Wednesfield’s Adam Tipton and Birmingham’s Andy Cobley, where Tipton managed to take third on the line. The Monarchs earned their first and only maximum in heat 9, with the fast improving pairing of Ewan Hancox and Ieuan Payne.

A dramatic heat 10 saw an exclusion for Wednesfield’s Chris Jewkes after an entertaining battle with Natalie Timms. With Lee Kemp leading the race, Jewkes held back to allow Natalie to battle with him for second place, and she certainly didn’t hold back! However the friendly battle soon ended with an exclusion for Jewkes after he had taken his hands off his bars to hinder Natalie’s control of the bike, resulting in both ending up on the centre green, and leaving everyone with a smile on their faces as the racing came to an end. With the penalty points deducted, Wednesfield held on to their lead by 4 points.

Birmingham 40
Paul Timms 10+1, Emily Pitt 7+1, Ewan Hancox 11+1, Ieuan Payne 12+1, Phil Widdas 5, Natalie Timms 7+1, Andy Cobley 3

Wednesfield 44
Chris Jewkes 10+2, Lee Kemp 14, Adam Tipton 10, Paul Heard 19+1, Mark Griffiths 12+1, Alex Aris 9.

The final fixture of the day was an individual Olympic style formula for the Wednesfield and Birmingham riders, as the Aces were unable to bring an U14 team to race. The first race was won comfortably by Wednesfield’s Tyler Bould, with all of the action behind him in the battle for second place, where Ryan Winwood managed to hold off challenges by Connor Steele.

An all action second heat saw an unlucky tangle for Arsh Singh and Marc Phipps after Singh slipped and fell on the 4th bend, causing Phipps to crash into him. Both riders brushed themselves off and the race was re-run. This time it was Sam Singh who slipped, leaving all the action ahead of him with Billy Winwood taking the win over Marc Phipps.

The Olympic style formula allowed newcomer William Arkinstall a head start over the other riders, and his fast pace along the straights meant nobody could catch him, allowing him to take a well deserved 4 points. A win for Sam Singh in the 4th heat, followed by a win for Marc Phipps in the 5th heat, meant anyone was worthy of taking the overall win, as 5 heats had been won by 5 different riders.

In the end it was Tyler Bould and Marc Phipps who top scored on 14 points, meaning a run off was required. Bould won the toss and selected grid 2 to give him the inside advantage out of the grids, which helped him to win the race. Although he lost the battle, Phipps never gave up chasing, pulling some impressive lines in attempt to pass Bould.

All of the junior riders rode really well and the Birmingham juniors demonstrated their strength in both their new, and existing riders, who will all be ones to watch out for in the future!

1st Tyler Bould
2nd Marc Phipps
3rd Billy Winwood

Ryan Winwood 6, William Arkinstall 7, Connor Steele 9, Tyler Bould 14, Sam Sing 10, Arsh Singh 8, Billy Winwood 12, Marc Phipps 14