Monday October 16, 2017
Skipper Tom Perry cut a disconsolate figure as Cradley finished their National League programme with a three-point defeat at home to Eastbourne.

Perry, back from injury, was nearly the hero as he hit the front in the opening lap of the last-heat decider with Cradley needing a share of the spoils to take a surprise victory.

Guest Ben Hopwood eased through into third and things looked good for Will Pottinger's men only for Perry to fall on the fourth turn.

Hopwood could make no impression in the rerun as Eagles maximum man Jake Knight and Josh Bailey sealed the win and their place at the top of the National League standings.

Perry improved throughout the meeting but was clearly low at its conclusion and even appeared to cast some doubt over his future in the sport.

“I was getting there towards the end, just trying a bit too hard in heat 15 to win the meeting for us,” he said.

“But the track got slicker and slicker and I banged my arm again, the same problem as before.

“We gave it a go, but a lot of bike trouble tonight and a couple of silly points thrown away, myself as well.

“A rubbish way (personally) to end the year. I struggled with injuries, bike problems massively. Hopefully the Heathens will be back next year racing, and we'll see how it goes.

“We'll see what happens. I'm not 100 per cent as to what I'm doing next year.

“I've been riding a while now and always tend to get hurt once or twice a year.

“Getting a bit fed up of breaking stuff, so we'll see what comes over the winter and just decide.”

With Cradley's future hanging on Monmore dates for 2018, the Heathens were feeling the chill at a windswept stadium.

They battled hard throughout and there were never more than two points in it.

But a nightmare evening for Conor Dwyer, who fell while leading heat two and then suffered mechanical failure in his next three outings, undermined their efforts.

The consistent Hopwood topped their scorechart and there was good support from skipper Perry, Luke Harris and Joe Lawlor.

Lakeside 15-year-old Jason Edwards showed extraordinary composure guesting in the other reserve berth.

Monmore is not easy for the tyro but Edwards – back at school in Year 10 tomorrow – was as smooth as you like on his way to paid seven. But it was not quite enough.

CRADLEY 43: Ben Hopwood 12+1, Tom Perry 9, Luke Harris 8+2, Joe Lawlor 8, Jason Edwards 6+1, Conor Dwyer 0, Richard Hall r/r.
EASTBOURNE 46: Jake Knight 14+1, Josh Bailey 11, Tom Brennan 10, Alfie Bowtell 5+3, Alex Spooner 4+1, Joe Alcock 2+1, Charley Powell r/r.

Share This:   Facebook Twitter