CRADLEY Heathens have missed out on the play-offs after league bosses rejected their request to extend the season cut-off point for a top four place.

They have been unable to gain the necessary points before this weekends deadline and will now complete their National League campaign against Eastbourne at Perry Barr next Wednesday.

In a disappointing end to the campaign, Heathens have also conceded their Knockout Cup tie with Belle Vue in order to allow the competition to progress. They were 28-points down from the first leg.

Heathens director Nigel Pearson explains: “These circumstances are far from satisfactory but we have, ultimately, paid the price for not having a track of our own with access to regular racing.

“We have run out of dates and it all means our season will end next Wednesday with our final league meeting.

“I didn’t like the idea of pulling out of the cup, none of us at the club did, but we could have delayed it, sat on it, and that would have been no good to anyone as it’s still only the quarter-final stage.

“By doing this we allow the competition to continue and with a 28-point deficit with injuries we were unlikely to turn it around.

“We had been waiting a long time to get the cup sorted and were only able to secure dates when Lakeside withdrew against Belle Vue.

“I know fans are already casting an eye towards next season and the answer is the same as every year – at this stage it will all depend on what the stadium availability is because once again we are faced with sharing tracks with no immediate prospect of a new home.

“I’d urge all Heathens fans to get along to Perry Barr next Wednesday to cheer the team on for one last time this season.”

Heathens race their last away meeting at the Isle of Wight this Thursday – with another severely depleted team due to fixtures clashes and injuries.

The club have also confirmed they are hoping a date may become available in late October to stage their prestigious Golden Hammer individual event.