2010

The Heathens are back! - It's DUDLEY

 

 

Season Review

 When many Elite League and Premier League sides run National League fixtures they rarely draw a good crowd, sometimes running at a loss, but running for the sake of developing assets for the future. This was something completely different, promoters Gary Patchet (Birmingham) and Chris Van Stratten (Wolverhampton) agreed to allow the Heathens with club chairman Nigel Pearson -(now to be known as the Dudley Heathens,) to use their facilities.  Initially it was expected that their own supporters would be supplemented by supporters from the old Cradley Heathens club.  However after some 14 years, not many expected what was going to happen, the old Cradley fans came out in numbers that would put some Elite league tracks to shame.
Sky Sports presenter Nigel Pearson installed Will Pottinger (grandson of former Heathens sponsor and promoter) as team manager for the new Dudley team.  The crowds continued to flock in at both Perry Barr and Monmore Green with Monmore having the edge.
Heathens fans soon had new hero's to cheer, none more so than Lee Smart who went on to become National League Riders Champion later in the year and was voted by the Dudley News as their Sports Personality of the year, and he didn't just win it, he absolutely ran away with it, some achievement for someone riding for a club outside the Borough! 
Lee was not the only veteran in the team, Jon Armstrong also starred, he joined the club after Ben Taylor got injured in the first meeting against the American Dream Team at Perry Barr.


Armstrong had been injured with a broken leg and knee damage. He soon got back to form and was an inspiration to the younger lads in the team, who were soaking it up like sponges.

L to R.Will Pottinger (Team Manager), Richard Franklin, Tom Perry, Ashley Morris,
James Sarjeant, Ben Taylor, Darryl Ritchings, on bike - Lee Smart

That apart the fans took to him as an adopted hero, but 'Armo', was vulnerable to injury and sure enough he guested for Newport at Kings Lynn in August and broke his arm and toes.

Since Mildenhall had withdrawn from the National League, the Heathens took Barrie Evans, the Fen Tigers star man.  Another addition to the side was Australian Micky Dyer who was drafted in to replace the off-form James Sarjeant. His fellow countryman Jake Anderson proved to be a good performer particularly on away tracks but found the Monmore Green track difficult.
Dudley's real find of the season was Tom Perry, a star on the grasstrack, who took to the shale like a duck to water upping his average from his assessed 3.00 points to a remarkable 6.99 for official matches.  The reserves were amongst the best in the National League with local lad Ashley Morris and former Coventry mascot Richard Franklin.  The side was very successful, finishing at the top of the National League table.  Unfortunately they couldn't quite finish the job, with Buxton ending the Heathens title hopes winning 50-40 at Monmore Green (re-named Monmore WOOD by fans and management alike with meeting presenter 'Porky', adding extra entertainment for the fans) then finishing the job in the Peak District 49-43 The Heathens also lost the home leg of the KO Cup semi-final to Buxton 47-43 and despite a brave 48-45 win at Buxton they couldn't deny the Hitmen a place in the Final.
Such good crowd figures can only enhance the Heathens chances of finding a new piece of land for a stadium in the Dudley / Sandwell area.
 

Riders Performance Chart

'The Heathens' 2010

 

Rider
Matches
Rides
Points
Bonus
Total
Aver
Lee Smart

22

102

238

13 251 9.84
Jon Armstrong 13 61 132 8 140 9.18
Michael Dyer 15 65 110 17 127 7.82
Jake Anderson 24 107 192 17 209 7.81
Tom Perry 22 103 155 25 180 6.99
Barrie Evans 10 42 66 6 72 6.86
Richard Franklin 21 84 110 27 137 6.52
Ashley Morris 24 109 145 26 171 6.28
James Sarjeant 9 37 29 7 36 3.89
Darryl Ritchings 2 4 1 0 1 1.00
Byron Bekker (G) 1 5 13 1 14 11.20
Ross Walter (G) 1 3 3 0 3 4.00

Final League Table

National League
Team
PL
3W
2W
D
L
4W 3W D 1L L
For
Ag
Pts
Dudley 18 9 0 0 0 2 2 0 4 1 938 724 45
Buxton
18
8 1
0
0 4 1 0 0 4 899 722 45
Newport 18 8 0
0
1 5 0 0 1 3 878 742 45
Rye House
18
6 1 0 2 1 2 0 1 5 801 821 31
Bournmouth 18 5 3
0
1 0 2 1 1 5 837 803 30
Plymouth 18
7
1 0 1 1 0 0 0 8 844 819 27
Isle of Wight 18 6 0
0
3 0 0 0 0 9 779 867 18
Scunthorpe 18 4 1 1 3 0 0 0 0 9 743 893 15
Kings Lynn 18 3 2
0
4 0 0 0 1 8 758 873 14
Weymouth 18 4 0 0 5 0 0 0 1 8 719 932 13


Mildenhall withdrew from the league in August and subsequently all of their results from the 2010 season have been expunged.

LEAGUE SCORING SYSTEM
Home loss by any amount of points = 0
Home draw = 1
Home win by between 1 and 6 points = 2
Home win by 7 points or more = 3
Away loss by 7 points or more = 0
Away loss by 6 points or less = 1
Away draw = 2
Away win by between 1 and 6 points = 3
Away win by 7 points or more = 4

PLAY-OFF PICTURE
Top four teams race off in two-legged semi-finals and final to decide championship.

KO Cup

Quarter Final
Scunthorpe 46  - Dudley 44
Jake Anderson 15, Jon Armstrong 10, Lee Smart 7, Ashley Morris 5,
Tom Perry 5, James Sarjeant 2 R/R Richard Franklin

Dudley 60 - Scunthorpe 32
Lee Smart 15, Richard Franklin 11, Jon Armstrong 10, Jake Anderson 9,
Ashley Morris 8, Tom Perry 4, James Sarjeant 3

Semi Final
Dudley 43 - Buxton 47
Micky Dyer 12, Tom Perry 9, Ashley Morris 9, Lee Smart 6,
Richard Franklin 5, Jake Anderson 1, Barrie Evans 1

Buxton 45 - Dudley 48
Barrie Evans 17, Jake Anderson 16, Micky Dyer 6, Tom Perry 4,
Ashley Morris 4, Richard Franklin 1, R/R Lee Smart

Buxton won 92-91 on aggregate and went on to beat
Kings Lynn in the Final 102 - 81

 

 


Lee Smart won the National League Riders Championship
 at Rye House with 14 points.
Lee Smart voted Rider of the year & Dudley News Sports Personality of the Year

Simon Lambert was the winner of the 2010 Golden Hammer

Golden Hammer

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