HEATHENS TAKE FOURS TITLE

Sunday 18 August, 2013
DUDLEY Heathens are the new National League Fours Champions after taking a dramatic victory in the final at Stoke on Sunday afternoon.

The Heathens comfortably negotiated their way through the semi-final taking a comfortable five point victory from their nearest rivals Kent as they took victory with 17 points as Kent snatched second place with 12 points just one point ahead of home side Stoke who finished on eleven with Buxton finishing on eight.

Potters team manager Malcolm Vasey commented “We did very well to be in with a shout of making the final and had we had Luke (Chessell) on his recent form we may well have made the final but that’s taking nothing away from Lee (Payne) who came in and gave it his all as the rest of the lads did.”

In the other semi-final King’s Lynn Young Stars took victory with 16 points just one ahead of defending champions Mildenhall as they made it comfortably into the final as the Isle of Wight finished on 10 points five behind the Fen men with the depleted Coventry team finishing fourth on 7 points.

The Loomer Road circuit was producing some good racing and Steve Boxall of Kent going just 0.4 seconds outside Richie Worrall’s National League track record and Lewis Kerr getting even closer as he was just 0.2 seconds outside the record.

The final was as dramatic as any fours final seen in the competition with hot favourites Dudley without a point in the opening two heats Lewis Blackbird having been disqualified in heat two after he fell. This was after Kent’s Benji Compton had been penalised for touching the tapes and having to go off a fifteen metre handicap. At the attempt Lewis Karr of King’s Lynn made no mistake and took the victory from Mildenhall’s Daniel Halsey to leave Kent, Mildenhall and King’s Lynn all on four points.

Paul Starke got the Heathens their first points taking victory from Josh Bates of Mildenhall Starke overhauling Bates for the win with Kent’s David Mason third. Heathens skipper Ashley Morris returning to action held his nerve on the first lap as he was pressured heavily by Darren Mallett to take victory despite losing his primary chain as he went over the line for the win with Kent’s Ben Morley third to amazingly leave all the teams level on six points at the midway point of the final.

Kent’s Benji Compton took victory in heat five to edge the Kings in front with Josh Bates of Mildenhall second and Darren Mallett third but it was high drama in heat six with Dudley’s Ashley Morris and King’s Lynn’s Lewis Rose battling it out for second place behind race winner Daniel Halsey. The two battled all the way throughout the race but Rose seemed to turn left twice down the home straight and as they went over the line for the chequered flag FIM/SCB Referee Jim Lawrence disqualified Rose for unfair racing resulting in Morris finishing second for the Heathens and Kent’s Mason finishing third, leaving Mildenhall leading on 11 Kent on 10 Dudley on 8 and King’s Lynn on 7 with two races to go.

Starke continued to show his liking for the Loomer Road circuit as he took victory from Lewis Kerr and Ben Morley leaving Kent, Dudley and Mildenhall all on eleven points with one race to go.
In the final the Heathens had Lewis Blackbird with Kent having Steve Boxall with Jake Knight for King’s Lynn and Nathan Stoneman for Mildenhall but it was the giants of the league Boxall and Blackbird that battled it out Blackbird edged in front with the Kent man Boxall going inside and out once managing to just get up the inside of Blackbird but he couldn’t make the move stick and Blackbird pulled clear to take victory for the Heathens and send the large Dudley contingent wild on the terraces.

Heathen’s skipper Morris said “I’m delighted we’ve managed to pull off the victory for our magnificent supporters, things were looking bad for us at the start in the final but we turned it around superbly and we’ve now got another trophy in the trophy cabinet."

FINAL

Dudley 14: Paul Starke 6, Ashley Morris 5, Lewis Blackbird 3, Gareth Isherwood 0
Kent: 13: Steve Boxall 5, Benji Compton 4, David Mason 2, Ben Morley 2
Mildenhall 11: Daniel Halsey 5, Josh Bates 4, Jon Armstrong 2, Nathan Stoneman 0
King’s Lynn 10: Lewis Kerr 5, Darren Mallett 3, Lewis Rose 1, Jake Knight 1

SEMI FINAL 1

King’s Lynn 16: Lewis Kerr 6, Darren Mallett 5, Lewis Rose 4, Jake Knight 1
Mildenhall 15: Jon Armstrong 5, Nathan Stoneman 4, Daniel Halsey 3 Josh Bates 3
Isle of Wight 10: Darryl Ritchings 4, Ben Hopwood 2, Brendan Johnson 2, Adam Ellis 2
Coventry 7: James Sarjeant 5, Oliver Greenwood 2, James Shane 0, Ryan Terry-Daley 0

SEMI FINAL 2

Dudley 17: Paul Starke 6, Lewis Blackbird 5, Ashley Morris 4, Gareth Isherwood 1, Sam Ward (Res) 1
Kent 12: Steve Boxall 6, Benji Compton 5, David Mason 1, Ben Morley 0
Stoke 11: Steve Worrall 4, Kyle Hughes 4, Luke Priest 3, Lee Payne 0
Buxton 8: Charles Wright 3, Adam McKinna 3, Liam Carr 2, Ryan Blacklock 0