LEICESTER 64 HEATHENS 26 (Agg: 117-63)

Saturday October 05, 2019
CRADLEY’S National League season came to an end with a heavy 64-26 defeat at Leicester in their play-off semi-final second leg on Saturday.

The Anchor Logistics Heathens were always on a hiding to nothing at the Paul Chapman & Sons Arena as an impressive Lion Cubs side booked their Grand Final place, where they will face either Belle Vue or Kent.

Heathens’ realistic chances had already ended when they lost the ‘home’ leg by 16 points at Birmingham on Wednesday, and their chances of making the return a competitive spectacle ended when they were refused permission to use a facility for the absent Jack Smith – whose meeting in the Czech Republic was ironically postponed.

And they made a nightmare start to the second leg, with skipper Max Clegg penalised for touching the tapes in Heat 1 as the Cubs opened up with three successive 5-1s.

Clegg became the Heathens’ first race winner in Heat 5 as he got the better of Thompson twins Dan and Joe, who both underlined their talent with paid-16 totals –and they will be two big attractions for the FAST Golden Hammer at Monmore on October 28.

Danny Halsey and Luke Harris managed a couple of second places apiece, but the Cubs scored right down the order as they continued to extend their advantage, and a 5-1 from Joe Thompson and Ryan Terry-Daley confirmed their Final progression as early as Heat 8.

Clegg got the better of an out-of-shape Danyon Hume to win Heat 11, but a hat-trick of Cubs 5-1s followed with Clegg penalised once again in Heat 13 for movement at the start.

But the captain did at least finish on a high with another win over the Thompsons in Heat 15, with former Heathens rider Ellis Perks ending on a 12-point maximum and not going in the last race as the Cubs had the second half of a double-header to race.

Cradley boss Will Pottinger said: “We were always on the back foot and it was always going to be impossible task.

“I must say it’s a relief to get through the season, and we must now all look forward to the Golden Hammer as an end-of-season event which we can all enjoy.”

LEICESTER 64: Joe Thompson 14+2, Dan Thompson 13+3, Ellis Perks 12, Danyon Hume 10+1, Ryan Terry-Daley 8+2, Josh Embleton 7+3, Luke Ruddick R/R.
CRADLEY 26: Max Clegg 11, Dan Halsey 5, Luke Harris 5, Harry McGurk 2+1, James Chattin 2, Tom Spencer 1, Kean Dicken 0.
Leicester win 117-63 on aggregate.

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