Cradley Heathens gain a first-leg lead
Cradley took control of their Knockout Cup quarter-final with a 49-41 win at the Isle of Wight.
It means it’s two out of two for the Anchor Logistics heathens following their dramatic league-opening win over Mildenhall, writes Nigel Pearson.
While the star riders were once again in impressive form, there were encouraging signs from the youngsters in what was a solid team performance.
Teenage reserves Harry McGurk and Tom Spencer were boosted by their first outing which saw them combine for a 5-1 in heat two as the heathens took an early lead.
And that was backed up with another maximum – this time from Danny Halsey and Luke Harris.
While the hosts kept Cradley on their toes by taking the chequered flag in four of the next five races to stay within two, the Heathens produced a strong second-half showing to put them in the driving seat ahead of the return at Monmore on Monday, May 20.
Cradley capitalised on the disqualification of home No.1 Georgie Wood in the 10th when Harris picked up his first win of the campaign, while McGurk added another point to his tally as a reserve replacement for Halsey who had suffered a tapes exclusion.
Captain Max Clegg won heat 11 ahead of home skipper Ben Morley, who had to fight his way through past Spencer to split the visiting duo after receiving a 15 metre penalty.
But Spencer rode maturely to get another paid win under his belt in the 12th while Halsey regained his composure to ease to his second victory of the night.
And when Clegg raced to his third straight success in heat 13, that secured victory for the visitors despite conceding two late 4-2s.
Isle of Wight: Ben Morley 13, Danno Verge 8, Georgie Wood 6, Chris Widman 6, Ryan Terry-Daley 3+1, Chad Wirtzfeld 3+1, Connor King 2.
Cradley: Max Clegg 11, Tom Brennan 10, Luke Harris 9+1, Danny Halsey 7+1, Tom Spencer 6+3, Harry McGurk 5, Lewis Whitmore 1.