Back into the National League
After one season in the National Trophy. The
Heathens were able to resume their place back in the National League thanks to
Chris Van Straaten and Ladbrokes for making the dates available. It was to be
their swansong however. Following the Golden Hammer it was announced that this
would be the last year that the team would run.
|Max was joined by another National League hot prospect - Tom Brennan plus the more experienced Danny Halsey who had been such a tough rider in opposition with Mildenhall and old Cradley||
R. Tom Brennan, Danny Halsey, Harry McGurk, Lewis Whitmore
favourite Luke Harris. with such a strong top four the rest of the
team had to be made up from the best of the youngsters that Will and the other management members could find and that turned out to be Kings Lynn young star Lewis Whitmore, Derby lad Tom Spencer and 15 year old Harry McGurk.
It started well for Cradley with a win over old rivals Mildenhall 46-44 with Max getting 13 and Tom Brennan paid 13 Danny Halsey 11 from 4 rides and Luke Harris with 6 paid 8, the spearhead was there and would be able to bring the youngsters on.
Then the next match away at Isle of Wight saw Max with 11 from 4, Tom Brennan with 10 from 5, Luke Harris with 9 and Danny Halsey with 7 which included a tape exclusion. Then disaster struck when Tom Brennan crashed while riding for Eastbourne in the Championship League on 18th May. He badly broke his leg which was to keep him out for the rest of the season.
Cradley moved quickly to replace him with Jack Smith. With no disrespect to Jack, Cradley found themselves struggling, with Belle Vue taking a 48-42 victory back to Manchester on June 3rd mostly due to a super performance from Belle Vue youngster Jordan Palin scoring a 15 pont maximum from reserve on his first trip to Monmore.
The next match was a strange one, on the 9th June at West Row Mildenhall when the Fen Tigers were reduced to 4 riders by the end of heat 5 and the Heathens took all 4 league points with a 51-38 victory. A drama filled match at Kent gave us a consolation point but heavy defeats at Leicester and Belle Vue were hard to take and with most of the matches at Monmore were close affairs.
It went down to Mildenhalls match at Plymouth and to every ones surprise Mildenhall were 12 points up and threw it away with Plymouth getting 2-5-1s in heats 13 and 15, thanks to Ben Wilson and Nathan Stoneman! While they still won 46-44 they didn't get the fourth league point they needed and Cradley were through to the Play-Off semi-finals! It was of course too much to ask though and we were well beaten by Leicester and had to run the 'home semi-final', at Perry Barr with no more dates available at Monmore.
Still Cradley fans were quite proud that we had made it to top 4 in the league but went out in the play-offs.
Max Clegg was a revelation with maximum after maximum he kept the team together and fittingly won the Golden Hammer in October little wonder that he was voted rider of the year.
Riders Performance Chart
statistics taken from the Cradley Speedway database for NL, P/O, KOC matches only.
Final League Table
2019 National Trophy
Due to lack of fixture dates the Heathens did not take part in this seasons National Trophy
2019 KO CupQuarter Finals Semi - Finals FINAL
LEICESTER 55 + 38 = 93 LEICESTER 54 + 39 = 113
Mildenhall 34 + 52 = 86 Stoke 36 + 31 = 67
50 + 42 = 92 LEICESTER 45 +43 = 88
I o W
41 + 44 = 85 BELLE VUE 45 + 55 = 100
BELLE VUE 51 + 45 = 96
GOLDEN HAMMER 2019
Max walked away with Cradley Rider of the year and also pictured left with his partner Colbie - National League Rider of the Year.
Also Chris Van Straaten took National League Track of the Year.
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