2014

It's Cradley Heathens at Monmore!

 

 

Season Review

After winning the National League title the previous year there was always the question, could they possibly do it again? With the format of the league putting more pressures on promotion with a 40 point limit and riders not only missing matches through the 'doubling up', rule where riders could ride for Premier League clubs as well as National League, the BSPA decided to introduce a fast track draft system where selected riders from National League teams would be used as reserves in the Elite League.  This of course meant that inevitably riders would be missing some matches.  Also being League Champions the Heathens were riding with a target on their back, with everyone wanting to lower the colours of the champs.  The management did a great job, almost too good in fact, with Steve Worrall coming in on a 'bargain', average and Tom Perry returning after a year out they were joined by newcomers Matt Williamson and Danny Phillips, Paul Starke was made captain and Max Clegg and Nathan Greaves moved into the team proper.
During the winter months it was decided that the team would revert back to the original Cradley Heathens name, a popular decision with most fans.
Well, could they do it again? Of course they could, in fact they went all through the season with just one defeat, that came on April 21st, losing by just 3 points at Coventry.  The team were so good that some fans were complaining that home matches were too one-sided, with the Heathens winning by more than 60 points most weeks and even scoring more than 70 points on a couple of occasions!

 



left to right - Will Pottinger (Team Manger), Steve Worrall, Matt Williamson, Max Clegg,
Paul Starke capt. Danny Phillips, Tom Perry, Nathan Greaves.

The Heathens were even able to cover for Steve Worrall when he got injured before the play-off finals, which was such a shame for Steve as he had such a great season in Cradley colours.  Between them the lads put around 15 points on their average and Will Pottinger never had to use a tactical ride all season!
The Heathens had to be at their best at the end of the season with Coventry in the play off final, and they were. Winning the first leg at home by 10 points it should have been close even when Coventry couldn't stage the second leg at Brandon and it was switched to Leicester at the last minute Cradley just kept their heads and defended the lead until the Championship was won again...

  This was the icing on the cake really after winning the KO Cup against Kings Lynn's Young Stars and winning the Fours earlier in the season this was our most successful year since 1983.

All the Heathens riders exceeded expectations with Max Clegg and Nathan Greaves really coming good towards the business end of the season. Matt Williamson and Danny Phillips turned out out to be excellent signings, Paul Starke had a great year as captain Tom Perry held is own in the engine part of the team and Steve Worrall ended up with an average of 11.34 from his 18 matches with the team and was runner up in the National League Riders Final with 13 points, what more can you say about our top rider?
Crowds at Monmore Green were the best in the National League once again, unfortunately the news from Ladbrook's the owners of the stadium was not good. They dropped a bombshell in October that they wanted the stadium for their own use in 2015 and therefore would not be available.  This was a shocking blow for the devoted Heathens fans to lose their track once again 20 years after losing Dudley Wood.  The promoters worked hard behind the scenes and with the help of Tony Mole bringing back the Brummies into the National League the club was able to track share at Perry Barr for the 2015 season.

Riders Performance Chart

'The Heathens' 2014

RIDER  

Matches Rides Points Bonus TOTAL Average
Steve Worrall    18 85 226 15 241 11.34
Paul Starke 25 116 276 19 295 10.17
Max Clegg 26 118 257 22 279 9.46
Tom Perry 22 96 195 22 217 9.04
Nathan Greaves 27 120 205 32 237 7.90
Matt Williamson 23 102 159 30 189 7.41
Danny Phillips 24 101 120 36 156 6.18

GUESTS

Benji Compton 1 2 0 0 0 0.00
Layne Cupitt 1 3 1 0 1 1.33
Connor Dwyer 1 4 3 0 3 3.00
Dan Greenwood 1 4 3 1 4 4.00
Oliver Greenwood 1 5 9 0 9 7.20
Daniel Halsey 1 4 6 1 7 7.00
Luke Harris 3 10 10 3 13 5.20
Ben Hopwood 1 5 12 0 12 9.60
Joe Jacobs 1 3 8 1 9 12.00
Simon Lambert 1 5 9 0 9 7.20
Ben Morley 1 4 4 2 6 6.00
Includes National League, Play-Off, KO Cup & National Shield only
(Tactical rides are counted as points normally scored eg. 3 points for a win.)


Final League Table

National League
Team
PL
3W
2W
D
L
4W 3W D 1L L
For
Ag
Pts
Cradley Heathens 16 8 0 0 0 5 2 0 1 0 931 502 51
Coventry Storm
15
6 1
0
1 2 2 0 1 2 747 574 35
Kent Kings 16 6 0
1
1 3 1 0 0 4 783 652 34
Mildenhall Fen Tigers
15
6 0 0 2 2 2 0 0 3 754 607 32
Kings Lynn Young Stars 16 4 0
0
4 0 0 1 0 3 773 683 30
Stoke Potters 15
4
1 0 3 2 1 0 0 4 701 667 25
Devon Demons 13 2 0
0
3 1 0 0 0 7 503 658 10
Buxton Hitmen 16 2 0 0 6 0 0 0 1 7 592 876 7
Scunthorpe Saints 16 0 1 0 7 0 0 0 0 8 434 999 2

Three matches Devon v Coventry, Devon v Mildenhall and Devon v Stoke were not raced due to Devon not having enough stadium dates available

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.
The top team having choice of opponents in semi-finals from the other three

PLAY-OFF FINAL
CRADLEY 52 Coventry 42
Paul Starke 13 (5), Max Clegg 11+1 (5), Matt Williamson 9+2 (7), Tom Perry 8+1 (4),
Steve Worrall 5 (2), Danny Phillips 4+1 (5), Nathan Greaves 2+1 (2)

COVENTRY 44  CRADLEY 46
Max Clegg 11 (5), Paul Starke 10 (5), Nathan Greaves 9+1 (4), Danny Phillips 6+1 (5),
Tom Perry 5+2 (4), Ben Morley 4+2 (4), Matt Williamson 1+1 (5)

CRADLEY WIN THE PLAY-OFF FINAL
98-86 on Aggregate
The second leg match at Coventry was actually raced at Leicester due to non availability of
Brandon Stadium


National Shield

Cradley Heathens 69  Kings Lynn Young Stars 23
Steve Worrall 15 (Max), Tom Perry 12 +1 (5), Max Clegg 9+3 (4), Matt Williamson 9+1 (4),
Nathan Greaves 9 (4), Paul Starke 8 + 3 (4), Danny Phillips 7+3 (4).

Kings Lynn Young Stars 29 Cradley Heathens 64
Steve Worrall 14+1 (PM), Max Clegg 14+1 (PM), Paul Starke 13+2 (PM),
Nathan Greaves 11+1 (5), Matt Williamson 8+1 (5), Danny Phillips 4+1 (5)

This second leg was the result of the National League match counting for both compettitions.

Aggregate
Cradley Heathens 133 
Kings Lynn Young Stars 52


National Pairs
GROUP A -
Stoke 21, Buxton 15, Kings Lynn 9, Coventry 8

GROUP B - Mildenhall 18, Kent 15, Cradley 15, (Max Clegg 4, Steve Worrall 11)
Devon 6.

FINAL -
Stoke 17, Mildenhall 16, Kent 12, Buxton 9


KO Cup

Quarter Final 1st leg - Mildenhall 39 Cradley 49
(Steve Worrall 17 (6), Paul Starke 12+1 (6), Matt Williamson 7+1 (5),
Max Clegg 6+2 (5), Danny Phillips 3+1 (4), Nathan Greaves 4 (5))

Quarter Final 2nd leg - Cradley 59 Mildenhall 33
(Tom Perry 12 (4 Max), Steve Worrall 12+2 (5), Max Clegg 11 (5), Matt Williamson 8+2 (4),
Danny Phillips 6+2 (4), Paul Starke 6+1 (4), Nathan Greaves 4+2 (4)

AGGREGATE Cradley 108 - Mildenhall 72

Semi-Final 1st leg Cradley 63 Coventry 28
Paul Starke 15 (Max), Steve Worrall 13+2 (PM), Tom Perry 9+2 (4), Nathan Greaves 8+2 (4),
Max Clegg 8+1 (4), Matt Williamson 6+1 (5), Danny Phillips 4 (3)
Semi-Final 2nd leg  Coventry 27 Cradley 32
Tom Perry 9 (3) Max, Joe Jacobs (G) 8+1 (3) PM, Max Clegg 8 (4),
Nathan Greaves 6+1 (4), Layne Cupitt (G) 1 (3), Danny Phillips 0 (3)
AGGREGATE Cradley 95 Coventry 55

Final - 1st leg - Kings Lynn 43 Cradley 47
Max Clegg 13+2 (5), Nathan Greaves 11 (5), Tom Perry 7 (4), Daniel Halsey (G) 6+1 (4),
Paul Starke 4 (4), Matt Williamson 3 (4), Danny Phillips 3+1 (4)


Final - 2nd leg - Cradley 39 Kings Lynn 22
Max Clegg 11 (4), Paul Starke 9 (3) Max, Tom Perry 6+3 (4),
Nathan Greaves 6 (4), Matt Williamson 4 (2), Danny Phillips 3+1 (3)

Rained off after heat 10 result stands

Cradley win the KO Cup 86 - 65 on aggregate.

National League Fours

 @ Coventry
Semi-Final 1 -
Coventry 18, Cradley 13 (Paul Starke 5, Nathan Greaves 4, Max Clegg 3, Tom Perry 1), Kent 12, Buxton 5.
Semi-Final 2 - Mildenhall 15, Kings Lynn 15, Stoke 12, Devon 4


FINAL Cradley 18
(Paul Starke 6, Max Clegg 6, Nathan Greaves 6, Tom Perry 0)
Coventry 11, Mildenhall 11, Kings Lynn 8

CRADLEY WIN THE FOURS


National League Riders Final
@ Rye House

Daniel Halsey 14, Steve Worrall 13, Ben Morley 12 after a run-off, Joe Jacobs 12


Dudley hosted the British under 21 Final at Monmore 'Wood' in April

Joe Jacobs 12, Josh Bates 11, Jason Garrity 10, Ashley Morris 11
Grand Final - 1st Josh Bates, 2nd Adam Ellis 3rd Jason Garrity


The 2013 Golden Hammer Steve Worrall 14, Kyle Newman 13, Simon Lambert 11


Cradley rode two Challenge matches against Coventry at the start of the season for the Travel Plus Trophy
Coventry 18 Cradley 18 abandoned after 6 heats due to track conditions
Matt Williamson 5 (2), Steve Worrall 4+1 (2), Ashley Morris (G) 3 (2), Nathan Greaves 3 (2),
Tom Perry 2 (1), Danny Phillips 1 (2), Max Clegg 0 (1)
Cradley 48 Coventry 40
Steve Worrall 11 (5), Ashley Morris 11 (5), Max Clegg 9 (4), Matt Williamson 7+2 (5)
Danny Phillips 5+1 (4), Tom Perry 4+1 (4), Nathan Greaves 1 (4)
Cradley win the Travel Plus Trophy 66-58 on aggregate

Cradley rode a challenge match against Birmingham Brummies on 7th October for the West Midland Trophy
Cradley 55 Birmingham 38
Paul Starke 15 Max, Steve Worrall 13 +2 (5)PM, Tom Perry 7+1 (4), Max Clegg 7+1 (4),
Matt Williamson 6+3 (4), Nathan Greaves 4+1 (4), Danny Phillips 3 (4)

 


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