MATCH REPORT: Birmingham stay top of the league

Birmingham Monarchs remain unbeaten in the Midland League after taking a hard fought win over an impressive Leicester side on Sunday.

Leicester arrived with a solid team of riders with no weak links and they proved their solidity on track, by battling for every point and helping each other to vital drawn heats with some great team riding.

Former world champion, Dave Hemsley, rolled back the years with three stunning race victories in the first half of the meeting for the East Midlands outfit.

The first two heats were drawn with the visitors packing in the minor places and then went ahead with a 6-4 in heat 3.

It wasn’t till heat 6 that the home side were able to move ahead with a Winwood/Millward maximum, however Leicester hit back with a heat advantage in the 9th, after Paul Timms took a second tumble of the day resulting in him pulling out the meeting.

With the scores at the interval all square on 45-45, Birmingham opened the second half strongly, with a match changing maximum in the 10th, Millward protecting his team partner Hodgkinson to move ahead by 4.

The teams swapped 6-4 advantages in heats 12 and 13, which kept Birmingham’s narrow lead, whilst heat 14 proved another game changer, Birmingham taking a 6-4, with the unbeaten Hemsley pegged to the back. Hancox taking the win in that heat. Now a 6 point advantage.

Chris Timms won heat 15 and that was quickly followed by a 6-4 in the 16th, which was full of action, giving the home side an 8 point advantage with two heats remaining. Leicester took a heat advantage in the 17th, but Birmingham’s lead was now unassailable going into the final heat.

A bruising and battling heat 18 saw Hemsley take a heavy fall and excluded as the cause, before Timms and Marchant traded blows throughout the heat, leaving the final scores 94-85 to Birmingham.

An excellent match with quality racing, the home side had every rider win a heat besides the unfortunate Paul Timms.

Birmingham Monarchs
Ricki Johnson 17, Chris Timms 17, Mark Winwood 17, Scott Millward 12+2, Nathan Groves 12+1, Ewan Hancox 9+1, Steve Hodgkinson 8, Paul Timms 2

Leicester won the second Division meeting by a comfortable margin of 55-86. Birmingham tracked four junior riders, with Hancox and Billy Winwood impressing.

The juniors took part in a challenge match afterwards, with Birmingham winning 67-58. Newcomer, Rebecca Humphries made her debut, but guesting for the Leicester side!

Birmingham won the Underwood fours title on Saturday, held in Wales.

This Sunday Birmingham face Coventry in a challenge match at the Perry Hall track,  start time 2pm. We also welcome a visit from staff from the Decathlon store to take part in exhibition racing.