MATCH REPORT: Birmingham too strong for Coventry in Midland Club League fixture

Report by Matt Wilcockson

Coventry Sabres hosted Birmingham Monarchs in the Midland Club League Fixture an Sunday 17th September Birmingham, fresh from the previous weeks KO cup victory, rested several key riders but were still too strong for Coventry, who, in spite of a strong youth section, have struggled to maintain senior riders this year.

The Midland Club league format has been implemented in response to the imbalance in club membership in midlands clubs. Juniors, women, Vets, and open riders ride together with some programmed rides. Team managers choose riders from each heat blind to the other team.

Coventry saw a return to competitive racing for Jack Reynolds after a year out of the sport, and Sammie Marsh, not having raced competitively for several years. Coventry opened with a 6-4 in heat 1, but Birmingham hit back immediately with a 6-4 and 7-3 in the next 2 heats. Heat 7 led to an injury for Coventry’s Jack Reynolds in a coming together with old rival Connor Steel, leading to Jack only completing one further race. Birmingham maintained a small advantage at the break, and although Coventryy scored a number of heat wins in the second half, a critical difference was the experience of Birmingham’s Ricky Johnson, enabling 7-3 wins in all the heats he rode in.

Referee: Matthew Wilcockson

Birmingham 94

Charlie Buet-Gannon 15 Mark Phipps 14 Paul Timms 14 Nathan Groves 11 Connor Steel 11 Bekah Humphries 11 Ricky Johnson 9 Craig Whitehead 7 Kieran Harrison (r) 2

Coventry 86

Jude Wilcockson 17 Tom Savage 17 Dan Drewitt 13 Chester Gilpin 13 Yoanna Gilpin 8 Marc Gilpin 7 Jack Reynolds 6 Sammie Marsh 4 Amy Baynes (r)1