The Heathens are back! - It's DUDLEY
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.
|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.||
R.Will Pottinger (Team Manager), Richard Franklin, Tom Perry, Ashley
|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Since Mildenhall had withdrawn from the National League, the Heathens took Barrie Evans, the Fen Tigers star man.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
Final League Table
60 - Scunthorpe 32
Buxton 45 - Dudley
Smart won the National League Riders Championship
Back to History