Saturday 26 May, 2012
STOKE Easy Rider Potters gained a comfortable 56-39 victory over local rivals Buxton Hitmen in the National League at Loomer Road on Saturday night.

The Potters opened the meeting with a 5-1 from maximum man Ashley Birks and Jaimie Pickard with Michael Neale taking third place after Hitmen number one Robert Branford falling while second to give the Potters an early lead.

Stoke looked to be heading for a further heat advantage with Ben Reade taking victory in heat two with Ryan Blacklock second Ross Walter though fell while third allowing Neale through for a drawn heat.

The Potters had to wait until heat six before they hit two 4-2 heat advantages firstly from Birks and Pickard over Adam McKinna and then skipper Tony Atkin and debutant Liam Carr over Luke Priest, Carr comfortably holding former Potter Dean Felton at bay. The Potters continued to keep the pressure on with a maximum 5-1 from Pickard and inform Reade over Blacklock and Neale to give the Potters a 30-18 lead.

The Hitmen team boss Jack Lee nominated McKinna as a tactical ride in heat nine and he duly obilged with victory over Atkin and Carr for a 6-3 heat advantage to reduce the Potters lead to nine points.

Stoke quickly cancelled out the Hitmen's heat advantage with a 5-1 from Birks and Pickard over Priest and Felton to give the Potters a 38-25 lead after ten heats.

Buxton team manager Lee this time nominated Robert Branford as a tactical ride. Jaimie Pickard was disqualified under the two minutes time allowance as the strap on his steel shoe snapped as he was getting onto his bike causing the diaqualification leaving Pickard going off the fifteen metre mark. Ben Reade then produced a superb ride to edge in front of the Hitmen number one and powered home for victory with Pickard taking third place for a drawn 4-4 heat after Ryan Blacklock fell on the second turn of the first lap.

The Potters then gained a 5-1 in heat twelve from Reade and Atkin over Priest and then a 4-2 from Birks and Ross Walter over Branford after McKinna suffered an engine failure while comfortably second to leave the Potters in a comfortable 51-32 lead with two heats remaining.

The Hitmen gained maximum points in heat fourteen from Felton and Blacklock over Walter and youngster Liam Carr who fell on the final lap after he bravely drove up the inside of Blacklock on the first turn of the final lap eventually coming to grief.

Ashley Birks completed his maximum in heat fithteen with Robert Branford managing to overhaul Ben Reade for second place for a Potters 4-2 and a Stoke victory over Buxton with the Potters running out victors 56-39.

A smiling Easy Rider Potters team manager Malcolm Vasey commented "It was an excellent all round team performance from us tonight with everyone scoring points with Ashley (Birks) with a maximum Ben (Reade) with a paid fifteen points and he raced in heat fifteen for the first time in his career and scored, Jaimie (Pickard) back to something like his normal self and scoring solidly as did Tony (Atkin) with a double figure score. Ross (Walter) also picked up some points and debutant Liam Carr never ridden in the National League before always on the pace always looked like he may score points and he is a brave rider with tremendous talent and I'm thrilled to bits with Liams debut tonight. The margin may have been greater but I decided to give all the riders their four rides. I'm looking to go to Buxton tomorrow and gain a win something we did not manage last season and we will be hoping to gain all four points. We are fully aware Hi-Edge is a difficult place to go and we will not be taking them likely but I feel we are capable of going there and getting a win with the team we have."

STOKE 56: Ashley Birks 15, Ben Reade 14+1, Tony Atkin 12+1, Jaimie Pickard 9+2, Ross Walter 4+1, Liam Carr 2+2, Richie Worrall r/r.

BUXTON 39: Robert Branford 11, Adam McKinna 11, Luke Priest 6, Ryan Blacklock 5+1, Dean Felton 4+1, Michael Neale 2+1, Richard Andrews r/r.