Sunday 27 May, 2012
STOKE Easy Rider Potters went down to a disappointing 50-38 defeat against the Buxton Hitmen in the National League at Hi-Edge raceway on Sunday afternoon.

The Easy Rider Potters relied heavily on Ben Read, Ashley Birks and skipper Tony Atkin as the trio scored thirty one of the Potters thirty eight points.

The Potters gained a 3-2 in an eventful opening heat after Jaimie Pickard fell while on a 5-1 with partner Ashley Birks but Pickard fell on the third bend and was disqualified from the rerun as was Richard Andrews who was not under power at the time of the stoppage. In the rerun Birks took a comfortable victory over Robert Branford.

The Hitmen took the lead in heat two with a 4-2 from Ryan Blacklock and Michael Neale over Ben Reade who was in front before Blacklock dived up the inside of Reade at the end of the first lap. Buxton then hit two maximum heat wins to move into a 16-7 lead after four heats.

Ashley Birks stemmed the tied taking a comfortable victory in heat five posting the fastest time of the season at the Peak District circuit of 54.7 for a drawn heat.

Stoke gained a 5-0 heat advantage in heat seven as first Neale fell and then Adam McKinna fell the race being stopped and awarded by referee Graham Flint to give Tony Atkin and Liam Carr first and second places bringing the Potters to within four points of the Hitmen after seven heats. The Potters added a 4-2 from Reade and Pickard after Ryan Blacklock had led until the final bend where he fell and managed to push home just ahead of Pickard leaving the Potters trailing 24-22 after eight heats.

The Hitmen gained a 4-2 in heat ten from Branford and Blacklock over Atkin to extend their lead to four points and then added a further two 4-2 heat advantages and a 5-1 in the next three races to secure all three points on the afternoon as the Potters trail 47-35.

Ashley Birks gained the consolation of taking victory in the final race but Reade was unable to find a way past Branford and Priest for a drawn heat giving the Hitmen a 50-38 victory.

A disappointed Potters team manager Malcolm Vasey commented "I'm very disappointed because we hauled ourselves back into the meeting with a bit of luck and then they got away from us again. We're clearly not firing on all cylinders and we need some possible adjustments to try and get those extra couple of points.We recognise it's always going to be difficult when Richie Worrall is not here but I believe that we did have the firepower here this afternoon to win this and I'm very disappointed that we've not done so. It is a tricky place to come and I'm not going to make excuses as there were fallers from both sides this afternoon and the track is there to be ridden. We now have to dust ourselves down and look forward to the next meeting which is against Mildenhall at West Row next Sunday."

BUXTON 50: Robert Branford 13, Ryan Blacklock 11, Luke Priest 10+2, Dean Felton 8+2, Adam McKinna 7+2, Michael Neale 1, Richard Andrews 0.
STOKE 38: Ben Reade 11+1, Ashley Birks 10+1, Tony Atkin 10, Jaimie Pickard 4, Liam Carr 2+1, Ross Walter 1, Richie Worrall r/r.