Birmingham Monarchs travelled to Ashmore Park on Sunday to take on reigning Champions Wednesfield Aces in Midland League action.
Weakened by absences to number one Chris Timms and Ewan Hancox the Monarchs were always likely to be up against it against a virtual full strength Aces outfit. Recent recruit 15 year old Jake Steel made his 1st team debut in reserve.
The Monarchs opened with a maximum in heat one from Groves and Johnson although heat 2 saw the Aces return the favour against the hard chasing veteran pairing of Timms and Hodgkinson.
Groves and Widdas combined to deny Aces Matt Smith through in a shared heat 5.
After 5 heats the scores were still level although the home side managed a couple of advantages leading up to the interval to stretch out a 10 point lead (50-40).
The 2nd half however saw the home side hold all the Aces. 3 maximums out of 4 followed the interval with only a maximum 7-2 to Birmingham after Millward and Winwood securing the win with only one home rider finisher in the 11th.
It was to be the last Monarch advantage as the home side continued to dominate. However despite the dominance Birmingham put in plenty of effort and fight on the track.
Phil Widdas was Monarchs man of the match with some decisive decisions on the track helping his side to a couple of unexpected drawn heats. Ricki Johnson top scored for the Monarchs.
MIDLAND LEAGUE DIVISION ONE
WEDNESFIELD 114 v Birmingham 75 – Ricki Johnson 14+1 (5), Scott Millward 13 (5), Nathan Groves 12 (5), Mark Winwood 11+2 (5), Paul Timms 10 (5), Phil Widdas 6+1 (5), Steve Hodgkinson 6 (5), Jake Steel 3 (3).
Monarchs lost out in the Division 2 encounter. The home side carrying a hefty 21 point penalty.
As expected the home side dominated against a mostly junior Birmingham side however the battle for the overall win went down to the later stages with Aces winning overall by 6 points.
DIVISION TWO MIDLAND LEAGUE
WEDNESFIELD ACES 65 (86-21) v BIRMINGHAM MONARCHS 59 – Jake Steel 10 (4), Marc Phipps 9+2 (4), Emily Pitt 9 (4), Natalie Timms 7+2 (4), Ryan Winwood 7+1 (4), Dylan Hawtin 6+1 (3), Connor Steel 5+1 (4), William Arkinstall 5 (3).
Connor Steel finished 4th on Saturday in the 3rd round of the National BYJL. He is 4th overall, one point off a top 3 spot.