Back to Monmore Wood again

 

Season Review

  With due respect to the promotion at Perry Barr a lot of fans were       glad to be back at Monmore. It has become our second home now while the promoters still try to find that suitable piece of land in the Cradley Heath area.

Now fully sponsored by local car dealers Motor Market and the same management company of Nigel Pearson, Chris Van Straaten and Gary Patchett with Will Pottinger managing the team things were looking good.  However it turned out to be a frustrating season.  With Max Clegg returning and Ashley Morris back in the side Cradley were very strong at the top end and so it turned out to be.  The return of Luke Chessell was a great addition to the side it gave us a top end which was a match for anyone in the league.

It was hoped that Jack Kingston and James Purchase would fit nicely into the middle order but Jack had other commitments outside speedway and after just three appearances it was decided that he just had to go.  Then James Purchase got injured and was out for the rest of the season. The management moved quickly to get Richard Andrews who was also getting over injuries from his first meeting at Easter and had been left out of the Eastbourne side.  The middle order of the side had almost been destroyed.  Ben Basford started the side well at reserve and moved up to the number two slot but after taking a few knocks Ben lost some of his confidence and started to struggle.  Bradley Andrews the other reserve found life in the National League very tough and his lack of experience showed.

Bradley was left out for one match mid season and it was enough for him to get it together, Brad was riding in the MDL and quickly found himself back in the side.

L to R. Ben Basford, Bradley Andrews, Max Clegg(capt), James Purchase,
Luke Chessell, Kneeling - Ashley Morris, Jack Kingston

The second half of the season saw Ben back down at reserve, hoping he could get his confidence back.
Bradley did get a lot of rides and definitely improved over the year but our main competitors Birmingham and Eastbourne
were very strong at reserve, Birmingham in particular had two very strong reserves in Jack Parkinson-Blackburn and Jack Smith.  It's difficult not to feel sorry for him really, just eighteen years old, away from his family on the other side of the world doing a very risky job with little experience.  The dedication is there he is determined to make a name for himself in the sport he loves so much.  The fans like him too and he was voted most improved rider on the year.
It really was the top two who made the team this season though Max continued to improve and collected the Under19 Championship in September and the National League Riders Championship a few days later.  Max had the second highest average in the National League (behind Eastbourne rider Adam Ellis) and rode in all three leagues throughout the year for Edinburgh in the Premier League and Wolverhampton in the Elite.  It was no surprise he was voted rider of the year by supporters.
Ashley joined Max in an almost unbeatable partnership in heats 13 and 15 not just because they were two of the top riders in the league but as partners they rode together as one.
Luke Chessell had a good season too increasing his average by more than two points he enjoyed being a Heathen again, and he proved to be good back-up to the dynamic duo at the top. Unfortunately for Luke he had a heavy fall at Buxton in September which put him out for the rest of the season.
All in all a bit disappointing by Cradleys high standard but hey-ho we made the play-offs again, we had the NL Riders Champion two of the best riders in the league and we saw some great speedway - roll on 2017!

Riders Performance Chart

'The Heathens' 2016
 

Rider
Matches
Rides
Points
Bonus
Total
Aver
Max Clegg

25

126

319

12 331 10.51
Ashley Morris
26
127 299 18 317 9.98
Luke Chessell 22 94 186 9 195 8.30
Richard Andrews 16 74 72 14 86 4.65
James Purchase
10
50 45 9 54 4.32
Bradley Andrews 26 126 105 16 121 3.84
Ben Basford 26 118 92 15 107 3.63
Layne Cupitt 5 19 5 2 7 1.47
Jack Kingston 3 11 5 2 7 2.55
GUESTS
Danny Ayres 1 5 12 0 12 9.60
Tom Bacon 1 4 2 0 2 2.00
Dan Bewley 1 4 8
1
9 9.00
Nathan Greaves 1 5 11
1
12 9.60
Ben Hopwood 2 9 17 0 17 7.56
Joe Lawlor 9 31 17 5 22 2.84
Ben Morley 3 15 32 1 33 8.80
Ellis Perks 1 4 6 0 6 6.00
Tom Perry 2 8 15 0 15 7.50
Niall Strudwick 2 3 1 0 1 1.33
Stephen Whitehouse 1 1 0 0 0 0

Final National League Table

Team
PL
W
D
L
4W 3W D 1L L
For
Ag
Pts
Birmingham 22 10 1 0
9
1 0 1 0 1181 779 71
Kent
22
10
0
1
5
1 1 3 1 1098 858 58
Eastbourne
21
11
0
0
4
1 0 2 3 1028 856 54
CRADLEY
22
10 0 1
3
1 0 0 7 1008 947 45
Belle Vue
22
9
0
2
1
2 0 4 4 1004 968 41
Mildenhall
21
9
0 2
1
1 0 3 5 939 914 34
Kings Lynn
20
8
0
2
1
1 0 3 6 896 877 30
Isle of Wight
22
7
0
4
1
1 0 1 8 942 1030 29
Rye House
21
6
0
5
0
0 0 3 7 864 1016 21
Coventry
20
2 0 7
1
2 0 0 8 768 966 16
Stoke
19
3
0
6
1
0 0 0 9 746 925

13

Buxton 22 3 0 8 0 1 0 0 10 817 1155 12


NOTE: Mildenhall deducted three points after a Speedway Control Bureau hearing.

 

PLAY-OFF FINAL

Semi-Final 1st leg - Kent 43 Eastbourne 47
Semi fFnal 2nd leg - Eastbourne 52 Kent 38
Aggregate Eastbourne 99 Kent 81

Semi Final 1st leg - Birmingham 53 CRADLEY 37
Semi Final 2nd leg CRADLEY 43 Birmingham 47
Aggregate Birmingham 100 CRADLEY 80

Grand Final 1st leg Eastbourne 50 Birmingham 37
Grand Final 2nd leg Birmingham 57 Eastbourne 33
Aggregate Birmingham 94 Eastbourne 83


LEAGUE SCORING SYSTEM
Home loss by any amount of points = 0
Home draw = 1
Home win by by any amount of points = 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


KO Cup
Cradley received a bye in round one
Quarter Final 1st leg  - Buxton 44 CRADLEY 44
Quarter Final 2nd leg - CRADLEY 46 Buxton 44
Aggregate CRADLEY 90 Buxton 86

Semi-Final 1st leg - CRADLEY 44 Eastbourne 46
Semi-Final 2nd leg Eastbourne 62 CRADLEY 27
Aggregate Eastbourne 108 CRADLEY 71
 Eastbourne went on to beat Birmingham 94-86 in the Grand Final

National League Fours

CRADLEY
finished 4th in the Final
Group A - Rye House 18, CRADLEY 14,
Clegg 5, Chessell 3, Richard Andrews 3, Ashley Morris 3
Mildenhall 13, Buxton 3
FINAL: Rye House 14, Belle Vue 12, Eastbourne 11, CRADLEY 7
Morris 4, Clegg 3, Richard Andrews 0 Chessell 0


 

National League Pairs

The National League Pairs was postponed in August and re-arranged in October which was again postponed as no date was available for the meeting it was not contested in 2016
 This was a shame as it was widely thought that Max Clegg and Ashley Morris were in with a very good chance of victory.

The Heathens rode in only one challenge match in 2016.


Sheffield hosted us with a select team on 30th June when Cradley beat the Tigers select 47-43.
 

National League Riders Championship

MAX CLEGG
was the winner of the National League Riders Championship at Leicester in September with 14 points. Ashley Morris also represented Cradley and scored 7 points.
MAX CLEGG was also the winner of the British under 19 Final at Perry Barr in the same week.
 

Golden Hammer 2016

The 2016 F.A.S.T. Golden Hammer was won by Steve Worrall with 14 Points after a run-off with Kyle Howarth
Steve Worrall 14, Kyle Howarth 14, Josh Bates 12, Ashley Morris 12, Max Clegg 11, Adam Ellis 10, Dan Bewley 9, Adam Roynon 9, Tom Perry 7, Ben Morley 5, Matt Williamson 5, Nathan Greaves 4, Lee Dicken 4, Richard Andrews 1, Luke Chessell 1

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Copyright: Steve Johnson & Cradley Heath Speedway Ltd. 2017.