Birmingham Monarchs v Sheffield Stars – Sunday 14th April 2pm start – @ Sandwell, Lower City Road, B69 2HA
This weekend the Elite League begins and for Birmingham it is a fresh start in a couple of different ways.
The Monarchs will be facing Sheffield at Sandwell’s track as Birmingham will be using the facilities for Elite league racing this season. It will be interesting to see how teams fare at the former home of the Sandwell Lions and the former home of Monarchs Scott Millward.
It will also be a new start for some of the home riders due to a change in personnel in the summer. The new recruits from over the border will be making their way to the Lower City Road and will be brimming with confidence. Kieron Jones and Nicky Evans have both been in scintillating form for Newport in the South West Division and will be looking to carry that form in the top tier.
Captain Chris Timms has had a quiet warm up but scored well against East Park in the Midland League and then defended the christine Ellis Memorial for a third time and so looks to be in typical strong form. Millward has also impressed in early season competitions and will no doubt be looking forward to be riding a familiar track on Sunday. Nathan Groves had a bad injury during the winter but in his couple of meetings he showed any doubters that he is up for it physically as well as mentally.
Sheffield will be making the travel down from Yorkshire and looking to take the points back home with them. British Champion Andy Angell, Indoor Champion Ryan Hoyland in the side as well as hard chargers Jamie Ball and Matt Smith shows that Birmingham will not have it all their own way!
Last year at Perry Park Birmingham came out 99-79 winners at a wet greasy track. The Monarchs looked strong throughout as the whole team chipped in with Paul Heard picking up 19 points followed by Millward and Timms with 16. Angell was top scorer for the away side on the day but had good back up from Hoyland, Smith and Radek Hanke.
The second team meeting saw Sheffield gain revenge as they ran out 74-53 winners with the team full of products of Sheffield’s youth setup. The Monarchs had Mark Winwood to cheer on as he helped himself to 16 points as Paul Timms also smashed the double point barrier.
The racing begins at 2pm at Sandwell’s Tividale track. It is free to watch the racing and parking is available beside the track. Refreshments will be on sale during the afternoon so please come down and support the Monarchs.
Birmingham 99: Marcus Wadhams 12+1, Dominic Rycharski 10+2, Paul Heard 18+1, Jack Harrold 13, Scott Millward 15+1, Chris Timms 13+3, Nathan Groves 10, Stu Bentley 8.
Sheffield 79: Ryan Hoyland 10+1, Andy Angell 16, Matt Smith 12, Dan Chambers 8, Radek Hanke 13+1, Pawel Iszdiorek 9+1, Aiden Owen 4+1, Jack Read 7.
Birmingham 53: Mark Winwood 16, Natalie Timms 4, Dylan Hexley 5, Phil Widdas 5, Paul Timms 11, Ewan Hancock 8 Reece Winwood 4.
Sheffield 74: Zac Smurthwaite 13+1, Richard Hudson 11+3, Liam Webster 16+2, Adam Watson 11+2, Vicki Brown 12+1, Aiden Owen 11+2.