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Speedway: Coventry battlers make history; CYCLE SPEEDWAY.

HIGH-RIDING Coventry Devlins Newsagents rounded off a glorious year of success by making history last Sunday.

Despite injury and illness, Coventry won a thrilling British League Regional Play-off final against a superb Sheffield side to win 92-87 in atrocious weather conditions.

They became the first ever cycle speedway team from Coventry, in the 60-year-old history of the sport, to bring home a major trophy and add to to the Midland league title they won last month.

Racing at the neutral venue of Stoke on a rain-sodden track, it was Sheffield who started with all guns blazing and led the way over the opening few heats but It was not until heat five that Coventry took the lead 25-24 with Robert Bedra gating immaculately to win.

By heat nine the advantage had stretched slightly to 46-43 at halfway while three heat winners in the second period helped open up a five-point advantage although their rivals continued to show their renowned Yorkshire grit.

It was not until heat 14 that Coventry looked comfortable, Damian Wozny powering to the front for another race win and Joe Mclaughlin gained the all-important third place to steer their team nearer championship glory.

When Prezemek Binkowski won heat 16, with skipper Dave Frith third, the Midlanders could relax and enjoy Dave Hemsley coast round to take the championship-clinching points in heat 17 as the celebrations started.

It was Coventry's finest hour as the champagne flowed to mark a glorious year of success.

Coventry point scorers: Dave Frith 9pts, Robert Bedra 17, Dave Hemsley 19, Prezemek Binkowski 12, Damian Wozny 15, Ashley Pointer 8, Carl Wassell 7, Joe Mclaughlin 5.

CAPTION(S):

DOUBLE DELIGHT... Coventry with the Midland League and Regional play-off trophies. Back row (from left): Prezemek Binkowski, Robert Bedra, Carl Wassell, Damian Wozny, Dave Frith, Ashley Pointer. Kneeling: Dave Hemsley, Joe Mclaughlin.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Oct 26, 2006
Words:306
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