Wednesfield made sure that the champagne stayed on ice for Birmingham as they inflicted the first defeat of the season on the Monarchs.
Birmingham going into the afternoon just had the Aces and Leicester to come to Perry Hall Playing Fields and avoiding defeat in both would make sure the league title would go to the second city. Birmingham had Marcus Wadhams missing but had a strong look about them with Chris Timms, Nathan Groves and Mark Winwood in the ranks. The visitors equally looked strong with Lee Aris, Paul Heard and Ricki Johnson and also Chris Jewkes and Scott Docherty in the Ashmore Park ranks.
Heat one saw honours shared as Lee Aris took the flag ahead of the Monarch duo of Millward and Andy James. The next heat saw Birmingham take the first advantage of the afternoon as a 7-3 for Carl Winwood and Chris Timms gave the home side the lead. That was to be short lived though as on heat four the Aces claimed a 7-3 with Aris and Jewkes getting the better of Paul Timms and James. The next heats saw advantages exchanged as Scott Millward took the win after a slip from Johnson gave Birmingham a 6-4 but an immediate 6-4 from Wednesfield through Cox and Jewkes made the scores 30-30.
Heat seven saw Millward pick up his second win of the afternoon shadowed all the way by Heard as Johnson finished third for a share of the spoils. Heat eight then saw Wednesfield get a second 7-3 as Scott Docherty and Lee Aris got the better of Carl Winwood and Chris Timms to give the visitors a slender four point lead. Heat nine saw the honours shared as Nathan Groves took the flag ahead of Dave Meanley and Jewkes to make the scores 47-43 going into the break.
After the break Wednesfield extended the lead as Ricki Johnson got the better of Mark Winwood as Roger Cox picked up third place. Heat eleven again saw another 5-5 as former Monarch Paul Heard took the win ahead of Chris Timms as Carl Winwood finished ahead of Phil Hemming. Heat twelve Wednesfield then went eight points ahead as Chris Jewkes ended the winning sequence for Scott Millward.
Birmingham were not far away from their visitors but heats fourteen and fifteen made sure that the Aces were going to take the points back to Ashmore Park as consecutive 7-3’s Heard and Johnson and then Hemming and Jewkes then made the scores 83-67 to Wednesfield. Heat seventeen saw Carl Winwood excluded by referee Phil Widdas for excessive force though the Monarchs rider felt harshly done by. In the rerun the visitors took a 6-3 to rub salt into the wounds. In the final heat Chris Timms then got excluded for excessive force whilst battling on the back straight with Docherty. Timms clearly not happy spoke to the referee who stood by his verdict. In the re-start of the final heat the Aces claimed a 7-2 to make the final score 101-77.
Birmingham now have to wait till October 19th when they face Leicester in the final Midland League fixture in a meeting that they may have to win to claim the title.
Birmingham Monarchs 77: A. James 5, S. Millward 17, C. Timms 8, C. Winwood 9, N. Groves 11, M. Winwood 14, P. Timms 6, S. Hodgkinson 7
Wednesfield Aces 101: L. Aris 19, S. Docherty 13, D. Meanley 6, R. Cox 11, P. Heard 18, P. Hemming 6, C. Jewkes 14, R. Johnson 14
In the Combination fixture Wednesfield were to strong for a young looking Birmingham side. Ewan Hancox still impresses and collected thirteen points with his never giving up style of riding. Emily Pitt unfortunately had to pull out due to a hand injury after falling on the fourth bend.
Birmingham Monarchs 45: E. Hancox 13, M. Phipps 8, E. Pitt 2, N. Timms 7, R. Stevenson 4, B. Winwood 9, R. Winwood 2
Wednesfield Aces 84: C. Dyke 12, D. Brookes 14, H. Everiss 15, A. Aris 13, H. Rowley 18, C. Aris 12