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About MattJ81

  • Birthday 05/11/1981

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    Cradley Heath
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  1. MattJ81

    Cradley Heathens 2019

    Sheldon Davies announced as a replacement for Lewis Whitmore
  2. MattJ81

    Cradley v Belle Vue - 3 June

    I'm a poor judge of crowds to be honest, and where we stand doesn't give us a great view of the whole area either. The crowd for the IOW cup match was down but with season tickets not included that may have had an effect - I don't know how many season ticket holders there are. With regard to Monday's meeting I thought we were outgated pretty consistently (Clegg included although it was great to watch him pick his way through the traffic), Luke Harris had an off night for the first time this season and Lewis Whitmore looks really low on confidence. Jack Smith will come good with more meetings around Monmore, although to ask anyone to fill Tom Brennan's shoes on that average is probably optimistic. Dan Halsey is doing his job as third heat leader and has never looked particularly comfortable around Monmore in the past so a few more meetings should help - having said that there are only 5 home league meetings left! Really impressed with Jordan Palin who seems to have a big future ahead of him. Our reserves are ticking along OK., enjoy watching Tom Spencer who isn't afraid to mix it and has a really unique style and Harry is picking up good steady points. There is a consistent message from the promoters in their programme notes about the frailty of the future and they're happy to move over and let someone else take charge if land can be found etc. I think the barbs on social media are having an effect and it wouldn't surprise me if this was a last hurrah, of course it always depends on available dates and the make up of the leagues anyway but you sense their enthusiasm is not what it once was.
  3. Appreciate it's pretty late to start a thread for last night's meeting but I guess it should have one! Not a classic meeting but the first of the season for a number of the Cradley riders and a great finish; happiness is 46-44 after all and a great performance in Heat 15 from Max and Tom to get a result over Danny Ayres, who had looked unstoppable until that point. I would imagine this is likely to be a regular theme for Cradley meetings with the way the team is put together and the lower points limit, with Clegg/Brennan in particular easing through meetings a distance in front of most (with the exception last night of the impressive Ayres of course), Harris was steady in the engine room and Halsey had a great first meeting beating his opposite numbers. Then we hope that the new lads can get to grips with Monmore quickly to get us over the line; they were second best to their opposite numbers last night with Macauley Leek looking right on the pace. On the positive they all stayed aboard and completed races, I'm sure they will be beating opposition reserves sooner rather than later as they settle in. Due to the weather and constant threat of rain the meeting was done and dusted by 9ish, only a couple of re-runs all night and no interval
  4. MattJ81

    Cradley Heathens 2019

    It's a Cradley type team for sure. Big hitters and a potentially long tail, but that's the way it's mostly been since about 1980 so I'm comfortable with it Happy to see Luke back, as mentioned above he has progressed steadily and will hopefully challenge for a heat leader birth as the season progresses
  5. MattJ81

    Cradley Heathens 2019

    Thanks, didn't realise that
  6. MattJ81

    Cradley Heathens 2019

    Thanks, that makes sense
  7. MattJ81

    Cradley Heathens 2019

    Would both be on a 2.00 average? I assume so, Lewis is showing as 3.00 on 2018 list but I can't see Tom on there. With Harry also starting on a 2.00 it may mean one of Lewis or Tom would be in the main body of the team to allow Harry to start at reserve. I must admit I know nothing of Tom, I saw Lewis briefly at Buxton last season when Cradley rode there but he had to pull out after a fall in Heat 2. If they are on a 2.00 each it would, I think, leave 6.43 for the final rider Strange for the club not to announce the signings in the usual way via Social Media though?
  8. MattJ81

    Cradley Heathens 2019

    I'm sure cost comes into it but there are also very few available dates at Monmore - the smaller NL this year makes it possible but I wouldn't imagine there will be too many free Mondays over the summer. I think the support would be there for it, should it ever become a realistic prospect.
  9. MattJ81

    2019 NL Season

    One I believe, hence Cradley being able to fit in the matches at Monmore (with the odd one at PB should the need arise)
  10. Ben Morley replaces Kyle Bickley for Cradley
  11. 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
  12. 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!
  13. 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.
  14. 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
  15. MattJ81

    Birmingham Brummies v Cradley heathens

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

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