Ewan Hancox raced to a magnificent 19 points as the Monarchs took victory over Newport in Cross Over league action on Sunday at Perry Hall Playing Fields. The 17 year old coming of age as he top scored for Birmingham with the home side winning 94 – 82.
Both teams had riders missing which evened up the line ups with 2nd team riders filling those places. Both teams looking fairly balanced and a close encounter was expected. With a run of 3 opening drawn heats it was going to take some on track moments and refereeing decisions to potentially move the match one way or another. Newport will probably point to 3 refereeing decisions that put them on the back foot.
The first of those in heat 4 saw Dan Bock excluded for moving at the start, Birmingham capitalising with a Winwood/Hodgkinson maximum 7-2 breaking the deadlock. A further maximum in the 6th (Hancox/Groves) was however nullified with the Stars taking their own in the 7th. The next 2 heats were drawn with the interval scoreline 47-42.
Newport suffered their 2nd moving at the start infringement in heat 11 however where able to take some consolation by winning the race, although it was a 5-4 advantage to the Monarchs (57-51). It was a further advantage in heat 13 by the Hancox/Groves partnership whilst controversy ruled in heat 14 in a tight tussle Newport man Dale Clarke was thrown out of the race on the 3rd lap after making a pass, with no communication given to either team manager of the reasoning. A potential drawn heat turned into a Monarchs 6-3 and a stretched scoreline. (74-63).
When Paul Timms crossed the finish line in first in heat 16 the home side were as good as home dry, whilst the last 2 races saw maximum advantages to both teams one apiece.
The Monarchs riders had 7 of the 8 team members taking at least one paid win on the day in a solid team effort. For the Stars Chris Davies raced to 3 heat wins whilst former Monarch Jack Harrold was unbeaten but for a tapes exclusion.
BIRMINGHAM MONARCHS 94 – Ewan Hancox 19 (5), Chris Timms 17+1 (5), Mark Winwood 14 (5), Nathan Groves 12 (5), Paul Timms 11 (4), Steve Hodgkinson 9+1 (4), James Chattin 9+1 (5), Jake Steel 3 (3) V NEWPORT 82.
There was a friendly 2nd division match to follow with the emphasis very much on friendly! Newport 1st team riders took on a team of junior Monarchs with the youngsters coming out on top, very much due to Newport riders racing each other and letting the kids take some very valuable scalps!
Birmingham travel to Wednesfield next Sunday (16th July) in a crucial league fixture. The action starts at 1pm. The Monarchs again had a presence at the Sutton Games on Saturday with nearly 200 youngsters coming to visit us and try out the sport.
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