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About MattJ81

  • Birthday 05/11/1981

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    Cradley Heath
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  1. Ben Morley replaces Kyle Bickley for Cradley
  2. MattJ81

    Is Speedway still viable in the UK?

    Not including his stint with Poole Hancock rode 18 seasons in Britain, which I think puts him level with Hans Nielsen in terms of time spent in the British League. Nielsen quit the UK when he was 35, Hancock when he was 37 (or thereabouts). I don't think you'll find anyone claiming that Hans owes the UK anything, who did much the same and rode his final years in Europe. Forgive me if my stats or memory has let me down - I've taken them from Wikipedia but it seems about right. The main difference is that Hancock has carried on riding at the top level long past the usual, and perhaps by his mid thirties felt he didn't want or need to chase around Europe every day of the week unless the money was silly, which it isn't going to be in the UK. He certainly isn't the only one to make that decision I will admit being a Cradley fan of a certain vintage makes me probably a little biased
  3. MattJ81

    Cradley v Mildenhall

    I wouldn't imagine so for a second, and if it was it didn't work as Kyle Bickley slid off in the next race anyway. I guess they put as little water down as poss beforehand as it had rained a lot earlier in the day so they were trying to keep it as good as possible as they went along, but then I know nothing of track preparation!
  4. MattJ81

    Cradley v Mildenhall

    I think the wet weather earlier in the day didn't help, along with the threat of further rain this I'm sure affected the track prep - after (I think) heat 4 they were watering the track which we thought unusual.
  5. MattJ81

    Cradley v Mildenhall

    The best team did win, both on the night and obviously the fact they are a team. I don't think I've seen too many people from Cradley dispute that but I'm not sure what else the management could have done in this situation? At the start of the season they tried to keep a flavour of Cradley past with Adam Roynon, Bradley Andrews and Connor Dwyer in the team. 2 of these have been sadly injured and Connor only had rides for Cradley (which many seem to think the club could convince 6 others to do) which I think wasn't enough for him to get back into the groove after a promising season last year. Now that other promotions have finished counting their cash from an away Cradley crowd they have decided that it shouldn't have been allowed and won't be in future - a view I don't disagree with from a credibility point of view but I'm still glad I got another year of watching my team. It looks as though unless there are significant changes to the league structure next season, or a way can be found to share Monmore and Perry Barr, we won't be back. It's been a pleasure to watch Drew Kemp ride this year and Max seems to be back on form which is good to see
  6. MattJ81

    Birmingham Brummies v Cradley heathens

    Sorry I must have misheard - I did make a point that 53 sounded really quick!
  7. MattJ81

    Birmingham Brummies v Cradley heathens

    Oh just one small gripe, and I'm sure it's nothing the Birmingham promotion have much control over but the food outlet being closed at the start of the interval wasn't great. Whether the (I understand) larger than usual crowd had cleaned them out of supplies I don't know but when there isn't any other option to get food in the stadium it's not ideal. One thing that the Brummies promotion did have control over was the entertainment on the centre green for the kids during the interval, a great and fantastically simple idea which my 10 year old really enjoyed
  8. MattJ81

    Birmingham Brummies v Cradley heathens

    When you have a top two riding like Shanes and Bacon did last night it will usually be pretty close, being a Cradley fan of a certain vintage you got used to being 6 down with a few races left knowing there were at least two heat advantages to be had in the latter heats and it was the same for Birmingham last night. We needed to have a decent lead going into the last few races and we just about managed it even with only 5 or 6 race winners all night. With a solid reserve in the Brummies team the result would have been very different, but that's the one thing you could have predicted with confidence before the meeting I thought the turning point may have been when Richard Andrews came to grief chasing down Shanes when we were on a 4-2 and the re-run was a 4-2 to the Brummies, although the way Shanes was riding you wouldn't bet against him winning the race from that point anyway. The move he made in Heat 15 to cut through into second place coming off the 2nd bend was a beauty, though I would perhaps not have appreciated it so much if the result was in the balance Heat 1 of the MDL meeting he won in 53. something seconds, beating Jamie Sealey by a decent distance. He looked good in that race, although I only saw it as we were leaving
  9. MattJ81

    Cradley V Brummies Mon 2ndJuly NT

    Absolutely, we only have 1 match left as it stands - away at Birmingham - and Kemp will miss that along with Bickley as Belle Vue and Mildenhall ride each other on that date. Kemp will be in the main body by that point so I guess a guest and R/R with possibly a couple of 3 point reserves if Chris is out of action after last night.
  10. MattJ81

    Cradley V Brummies Mon 2ndJuly NT

    Technically it was a 6 man team v 4 man team, at the start of the meeting anyway. But I see your point. The team was built to the same points limit at the start of the season as every other NL team, accepting that it was something of a dream team scenario when the riders were only agreeing to a handful of matches so you could pick a very strong team. The riders have moved as their averages have changed and replacements where required have been within the usual rules I believe. We were fortunate that Drew Kemp hasn't gained a realistic average so he remained at reserve last night whereas Leon Flint moved into the main body of the Brummies team. What promised to be a good meeting lost it's edge after the awful crash for Chris Widman and Danyon Hume. I hope they are both OK, I believe Chris has damaged his wrist and Danyon is suffering with the arm he broke last year. They locked together half way along the start finish straight and piled through the fence, luckily that fence is a good one and one of the bikes went over the top so was out of the way as they impacted else it could have been a lot worse. Cradley won the meeting at reserve which was always likely to be the difference even before Birmingham lost one of their big hitters. I do enjoy watching James Shanes ride and he was barely troubled last night at all, Tom Bacon likewise but it was just a case of filling in the minor places for the home team. Shame that Kemp and Flint didn't meet each other much due to some team management wizardry to keep Kemp scoring the most points covering R/R, his rides and Widmans rides. Was good to see Flint, Kemp and Edwards all going at it in Heat 14. Shame the track wasn't in too good a condition due to problems with watering, then to finish the night off typically the tapes gave up the ghost at around 9:45, just around heat 11 I think? So something of an anticlimax in the end
  11. MattJ81

    No job

    I'm not sure that Max was planning to ride NL this year as he had a slot in both the PL and CL. Once he was dropped from Lakeside the opportunity to go to Stoke was probably a good one for him, as was the chance to keep busy with Buxton last year after being dropped by Wolves as he didn't start last season in the NL either. I'm sure his preferred option is PL and CL doubling up. Yes he should really have left the NL behind by now but I wouldn't blame him for taking the chance to stay busy, I'm sure Buxton and Stoke don't pay over the odds so it wouldn't be a money making exercise
  12. MattJ81

    Cradley 2018?

    Technically as Connor isn't riding for anyone else (yet) he wouldn't be a guest . Surprised he has turned down a place with another team full time in the Northern Section so he can ride for us, but I'm glad to see someone from last year come back. Not sure if any of the others can fit, or are available but would be nice to retain a flavour of last year if possible
  13. MattJ81

    Coventry Bees Nl ?

    Glad Luke Harris has been snapped up, he's a rider I enjoy watching. A fast starter and you could see his confidence grow through the season last year both at home and away. Hope he has a good year
  14. MattJ81

    Race Nights

    I don't think the Bank Holiday double meetings are happening this year, which is part of the reason for Cradley not being in the NL full time I believe. Shame as I thought they worked pretty well last season
  15. MattJ81

    Belle Vue 2018

    Surely he's been forced into retirement because he can't find two clubs that want him? He said the only way he could make speedway viable was to ride in both the Premiership and Championship. He could have had an offer from one or the other league but not both I guess

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