STOKE 47 DUDLEY 43 (Agg: 90-90)

Saturday 05 May, 2012
STOKE Easy Rider Potters gained a hard fought 47-43 victory over the Dudley Heathens in the Staffs Cup on Saturday leaving the scores tied at 90 all on aggregate as both teams gained a share of the spoils.

Both teams were hit by injuries the Potters losing Jaimie Pickard after a fall in the opening heat when he complained of back pain and was taken to the University Hospital of North Staffordshire as a precaution for checks, while the Heathens lost Byron Bekker after a fall in heat ten when he and Ashley Birks both fell Bekker being withdrawn from the meeting on medical advice.

Ben Reade and Richie Worrall led the way for the Potters and they were well supported by Ashley Birks while Tom Perry top scored for the Heathens.

Ashley Birks won the opening heat from former Potter Tim Webster with James White-Williams taking third Jaimie Pickard falling awkwardly at the back resulting in his withdrawel from the meeting. The Heathens took the lead in heat two with a 4-2 heat advantage from Darryl Ritchings and Dan Greenwood over Ben Reade and debutant Ross Walter.

Stoke struck back in heat four with a 5-1 heat advantage from Reade and Worrall over Ashley Morris and Greenwood to put the Potters two points up as the led 13-11 after the first four heats. The Heathens returned the compliment in heat five after Potters skipper Tony Atkin shed a chain having led for the opening two laps allowing Webster to take victory from partner White-Williams with Walter third to leave the Potters trailing 14-16 after five heats.

A couple of drawn heats saw Dudley's ashley Morris take victory in heat six before Stoke's Richie Worrall took a comfortable victory in heat seven breaking the National League track record at Loomer Road by 0.4secs lowering it to 62.2 and gaining a £100-00 Joe Hughes gift certificate which was given to the new track record holder by an anonymous donator.

The Potters levelled the match up with a 4-2 heat win from Reade and Walter over White-Williams and Dan Greenwood the latter falling while in third place gifting Walter the third place to leave the scores tied at 24 points all.

The Heathens responded instantly with a 4-2 heat advantage from Morris and Ritchings over Atkin to restore their two point lead before a series of three drawn heats heat ten seeing Ashley Birks and Byron Bekker tangling in the first turn Bekker being withdrawn from the meeting on medical advice.

The Potters trailed by six point on aggregate with three heats remaining and they made a decisive strike with Richie Worrall and Ashley Birks gained maximum points over Morris and Webster to put the Potters in front by two points on the night as they led 40-38 and just two points adrift on aggregate.

Ben Reade made a superb gate in heat fourteen and then held of a determined challenge from Darryl Ritchings in heat fourteen as Greenwood held out for third for a drawn heat and it was the Potters that had the final say on the night as Worrall took victory from Tom Perry in the final race of the night Perry managing to overhaul Birks for second place for a 4-2 heat win giving the Potters a 47-43 victory on the night and a draw on aggregate as both teams were left tied on ninety points a piece.

Easy Rider Potters team manager Malcolm Vasey commented "Both teams have been tipped as strong contenders for the play offs and I think that was shown tonight. both teams had an element of bad luck ourselves losing Jaimie (Pickard) from heat one and Dudley then losing Byron (Bekker) and we had Ben Reade who stepped up to the plate tonight Ben having seven rides which he probably would have had even if Jaimie had not been hurt so it was swings and roundabouts as we may have lost out a little bit had Jaimie not got hurt. But it was nice we won by four points two of the most powerful teams in the National League sharing the result and maybe we can arrange something towards the end of the season. I'm really pleased with the boys tonight Richie (Worrall) breaking the track record as well as scoring a paid maximum and Ashley Birks dusting himself down after a nasty looking fall and made an important contribution towards the end of the meeting and the rest of the lads put plenty of effort in also and Tony (Atkin) suffered problems with his engine which I am sure will be sorted out for the next meeting so all in all we have to be pleased with the result."

Potters top scorer Ben Reade said "It was absolutely amazing tonight paid seventeen points is the best I have ever scored and I felt real fast out there tonight and was actually making gate and I had Nigel Crabtree really helping me out and it made a difference. You never like your team mates to get injured and I hope Jaimie is okay but it mean't I had seven rides tonight and I thought I rode quite well. I've had a lot of help this season from my boss Richard Collins and TVR racing and Martin Dugard has also helped me out and all the hard work is starting to pay off and I'm looking to keep on scoring plenty of points."

STOKE 47: Ben Reade 14+3, Richie Worrall 14+1, Ashley Birks 10+1, Tony Atkin 6, Rhys Naylor 2+1, Ross Walter 1, Jaimie Pickard 0.

DUDLEY 43: Tom Perry 10, Ashley Morris 8, Tim Webster 7, James White-Williams 6+3, Darryl Ritchings 6, Byron Bekker 4+1, Dan Greenwood 2+1.

Aggregate score: 90-90