CLUB NEWS: Monarchs continue Gold Cup winning spree

Birmingham Monarchs Cycle Speedway Club made it 2 wins out of two in the Gold Cup by taking victory over a spirited Coventry side in East Park on Sunday. The Monarchs were missing heat leaders Paul Heard and Scott Millward, who is still suffering from a back injury.
Birmingham started strongly with the first 2 heats taken by maximum points, team riding on the opening lap by both partnerships proving the difference. The first block of junior races were taken by Coventry by 11-9.
The 2nd block of races saw a costly exclusion for Mark Winwood, the rerun was damage limitation with Ricki Johnson taking the win. Hancox and Groves took a 6-4 in the previous heat. The junior heats were all square with the Monarchs ahead 41-48.
The 3rd block of heats saw another costly exclusion this time for Jake Steel who forced Cameron Gill off the track, Chris Timms taking the win in the re-run. Heat 7 saw Hancox beaten for the first time after being sent out wide on the opening corner, whilst Groves stormed to victory. The juniors won
their heats 11-9 to maintain the lead with the scores 60-68.
The seniors again suffered another exclusion with Steel again excluded for movement at the start, Timms again taking the victory. Coventry taking the last block of junior heats 11-9 took keep their hopes alive with the gap narrowed by another point (80-87).
The last block of 3 races belonged to the seniors, despite taking overall advantage in the first 2 heats they had failed to take any further advantages throughout the match but thankfully were able to finish much stronger. Hancox took a superb victory over GB star Myke Grimes in the 10th whilst heat 12 was full action for 4 laps as GB team mates Grimes and Timms took part in a hard bruising wheel to wheel battle throughout the race, Timms finally getting the better of his rival with a hard forceful move on the run to the line, too forceful though as he was excluded for excessive force.
Birmingham were thankful for a strong side whilst Coventry were dogged in their fighting spirit but couldn’t land enough heat victories to cut into the overall lead. Another match with costly exclusions could have cost the team however team spirit ensured they were able to hold the lead throughout.
Nathan Groves, the reigning Midland riders Champion was named man of the match.

Coventry XL Motors Sabres 94 v BIRMINGHAM MONARCHS 102 – Ewan Hancox 12+1, Nathan Groves 12, Ricki Johnson 13+2, Mark Winwood 10, Chris Timms 10, Jake Steel 6, Connor Steel 10+2, Ryan Winwood 9+1, Billy Winwood 14, Bekah Humphries 6+1.

Action this week sees the Monarchs juniors travel to Leicester on Thursday for round 1 of the junior midweek league. Saturday will see some of the Monarch riders travel to Wednesfield for the Dash Trophy for Veterans and Women. The Monarchs aren’t in action this Sunday as it’s round 1 of the
Battle of Britain with Monarch riders expected to be named in the Midlands squad. The next track action at Perry Hall Playing Fields is on Sunday 28th April in Midland League action with Coventry the visitors.
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