Monday March 28, 2022
SKIPPER Sam Masters says Wolverhampton can put their impressive win over Birmingham to good use next week.

Aussie ace Masters notched 11-points in a comfortable 56-34 win over their neighbours in an opening night Challenge at Monmore.

And he believes Parrys International Wolves will benefit from the meeting when Sheffield hit town next Monday in their opening League Cup tie.

He said: “It’s always good to get the first meeting out of the way, it was good that we could race against Birmingham, and the boys have found a good set-up for next week. We’re ready for the season now.

“Sheffield have obviously got a bit of confidence so we’ve got to hit them hard here. We know we’re a good enough team to beat anyone, so we’ll look to start off as we mean to go on.”

Winter signings Steve Worrall and Drew Kemp both showed up well in their first outings for the club, with skipper Sam Masters and fellow Australian Ryan Douglas also showing strong race-winning form.

But all eight Wolves riders, including squad member Joe Thompson, enjoyed a decent workout against a mix-and-match Brummies side who made several changes on the day of the meeting.

And whilst Chris Harris was beset by mechanical trouble, it was the visitors’ regular skipper Ashley Morris who impressed back on his old home track along with hard-working guest Richard Lawson.

There were early wins for Masters and Kemp, who gained a confidence-boosting success in Heat 2 by passing James Shanes on the second lap.

Morris became the Brummies’ first race winner when he impressively held namesake Nick Morris at bay in Heat 3, but Wolves quickly responded with the first 5-1 in Heat 4 as reserve Leon Flint took the scalp of Lawson.

A second maximum quickly followed courtesy of the Morris/Ryan Douglas combination over Harris in Heat 5, although Harris did get things sorted to switch neatly inside Worrall and win Heat 7.
Flint, looking far more at home on the Monmore track, was the winner of Heat 8 but all the action was behind him as the Brummies’ Australian youngster James Pearson came off the bike spectacularly down the main straight, thankfully without injury.

That was the first of four successive Wolves 4-2s as the hosts pulled clear, as Douglas edged out Lawson in Heat 9 and Worrall took his second win in Heat 11 although Ashley Morris again kept him honest.

Lawson picked up a win for the Brummies in Heat 12 but Wolves mounted a strong finish with two successive 5-1s, Harris stopping for the third time in Heat 13, before Lawson and Morris gave the visitors a consolation race advantage in the last.

Wolves open their League Cup campaign at home to Sheffield next Monday – with the Tigers already off to a flyer by winning at Belle Vue.

WOLVERHAMPTON 56: Sam Masters 11, Steve Worrall 10+1, Nick Morris 9+1, Ryan Douglas 8+1, Leon Flint 7+2, Drew Kemp 7, Luke Becker 3+1, Joe Thompson (no.8) 1.

BIRMINGHAM 34: Richard Lawson 15, Ashley Morris 10, Chris Harris 4, Adam Roynon 3, James Shanes 2, James Pearson 0, Claus Vissing r/r.

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