Mason: All the heat on Heathens for crunch derby clash.
Byline: RYAN GUEST firstname.lastname@example.org
BIRMINGHAM co-owner David Mason insists all the pressure is on noisy neighbours Cradley ahead of Wednesday's crunch derby clash at Perry Barr (August 1, 7.30pm). The two rivals go head-to-head with a place in the National Trophy Final up for grabs for the victors.
They've had of the riders one and have to make whenever David The inclusion of the Heathens in the competition caused plenty of controversy over the winter, following their decision to sit out the National League due to a lack of available dates at their adopted Monmore Green home. But with the Heathens able to have their pick of riders from club's in the Southern Group of the tournament, Mason admits his Brummies side have done remarkably well to take it down to a last fixture decider.
"When Cradley were accepted into the National Trophy and were told they could sign, basically, who they wanted, they were major favourites for this group," Mason said.
"They've had their pick of the riders from day one and have been able to make signings whenever they want.
their pick from day been able signings they want.
Mason "They started off with some of the best threepointers in the league in Drew Kemp and Jason Edwards and signed a solid set of riders all-round. "And even when injuries have struck for them, they've still been want. And with the strength of their line-ups throughout this tournament, there has always been the expectation from most that they should walkaway with this group and in all honesty, they probably should've done. "We had arguably the strongest team in the National League at the beginning of the season - yet nobody gave us a chance of getting to the Final. So to take Cradley down to the very last meeting at our place is a great effort from our boys and we would absolutely love it if we could end Cradley's season on Wednesday.
"But the reality is that we're understrength with different injuries and problems at the minute while they've been able to go out and just pick what riders they want to represent them again.
"So all the pressure is on them, but we have to hope that our heat-leaders can go and out there and all chip in with big solid scores and hope the boys lower down in the team can chip in with as many points as they can."