MATCH REPORT: Opening Midland League Defeat for Youthful Coventry

Coventry opened their 2016 Midland League campaign with an away loss to Wolverhampton-based club Wednesfield Dragons on Sunday afternoon, losing 97-80.

Exactly a week after defeating Ipswich at Hearsall Common in their opening Elite League fixture, Coventry couldn’t replicate those heroics – though handed first team experience to a handful of youth talent.

Teenagers Ben Wells, Jake Slatter, Daniel Drewett, Ollie Morris, Mason Phillips and Matt Hambidge all featured with Bobby McMillan and Myke Grimes adding some experience to the eight-strong side.

The Dragons signalled their intent to Coventry in the opening heats, opening up a ten point advantage after just six heats.

Their lead was extended to 14 points at the half way stage, though Rugby-based racer Mason Phillips shone with 8+1 from his opening three rides.

Great Britain and Australian International racers Myke Grimes and Bobby McMillan continued to tick off the wins – Daniel Drewett then joined the party with a win over Wednesfield reserves Connor Dyke and Steve Mullinder in heat 14.

A further 7-3 in heat 16 confirmed the two points for the home side – though Coventry took a consolation 4-3 race advantage in heat 18 as Dan Drewett received a tape exclusion and Carl Parfitt was adjudged to slow the race down after being told to speed up, meaning Bobby McMillan and Haydn Rowley finished first and second respectively.

Coventry team manager Lee Marsh said: “It was a tough ask for our youngsters but I thought they all performed well and deserve credit for that.

“It’s been a great weekend for the club with plenty of success in the BY&JL yesterday and, though we didn’t get the result today, we can hold our heads high and look forward to Poole next weekend.”

Coventry’s next fixture comes when they head to Harbourside Park to take on giants Poole in the Elite League on Sunday – 2pm start.

Cover photo by Ray Andrews