Saturday 30 June, 2012
BEN Reade and Ashley Birks led the way as the Stoke Easy Rider Potters gained all three points with a comfortable 57-37 victory over the Scunthorpe Saints in the National League at Loomer Road last night.

The Potters started brightly after their enforced absence from the track due to the weather to lead 10-2 after the opening two heats gaining a 5-0 in the opening heat after Stefan Nielsen suffered an engine failure and Adam Kirby fell as referee Margaret Vardy stopped the race awarding Birks and skipper Tony Atkin the points and Ben Reade and Liam Carr followed this up with a 5-1 over Max Clegg.

Scunthorpe's Oliver Greenwood got the better of Atkin in heat three with Kirby third for a 4-2 heat win for the Saints but the Potters then gained two 4-2's and a maximum heat 5-1 to lead 25-10 after just six races.

The Saints introduced Greenwood as a tactical ride in heat seven and he delivered the good for the Saints as he took victory from Jaimie Pickard who had managed to find his way past Stefan Nielsen to gain second place as the Saints pegged the Potters back with a 7-2 heat advantage with the Potters leading 27-17 at the midway point of the meeting.

Stoke struck back immediately as Pickard stormed to victory ahead of partner Reade to gain a maximum heat win over Clegg to extend the Potters lead to fourteen points.

The Saints management were again decisive as they introduced Tom Young as a tactical ride in heat nine and he gained victory from Atkin and Ross Walter for a 6-3 heat win to the Saints. Again the Potters hit back with a maximum heat win from Birks and Reade over Young to leave the Potters in front 40-25 after ten races.

The Easy Rider Potters extended their lead in heat twelve courtesy of a 4-2 from Reade and Atkin over Greenwood giving reserve Ben Reade a paid maximum for his nights work. This was followed up with a 3-2 in heat thirteen as Birks took victory from Nielsen after both Pickard and Young had been both disqualified after falling at the first attempt to run the heat to give the Potters a 50-32 lead with two heats remaining.

A drawn heat ensued in heat fourteen before Potters number one Ashley Birks completed his maximum with victory in heat fifteen from Greenwood with Atkin third for a Stoke 4-2 and a 57-37 victory over the Saints.

Potters number one Ashley Birks said "It was great to get some action on the track here and it was a credit to Dave and all the track staff here to get the meeting going as the track was really good tonight. We were expected to win tonight and yes we'd have been disapointed had we not won but we take no one for granted they had a good guest in Stefan and we did not underestimate their team. It was also good for all the lads in the team to get some track time with the lack of meetings with the weather. We are working well as a team Ben (Reade) has come on leaps and bounds this year, Ross (Walter) is improving with every ride and confidence is good within the team."

Team manager Malcolm Vasey commented "First of all we'd like to thank Scunthorpe for fitting in this fixture on what was a blank Saturday. They made us battle for the points despite being up against it from the start having lost two riders in their defeat at home to Mildenhall last night and while the result was not really in doubt all credit to them for pushing us as they did. It was a very useful exercise for us allowing our riders to get some valued track time tonight and that's why I did not make many changes throughout the meeting tonight. It was to see Jaimie (Pickard) do well tonight and to see Ashley (Birks) gain a full maximum and Ben (Reade) getting a paid maximum. Liam (Carr) got amongst the points also and I'm sure he will be scoring plenty of points as the season goes on. We needed three points from tonight's meeting and we went for it and got them. Our main aim is to make sure of a top four placing and now to get back in touch with Dudley and Mildenhall who have both been a little luckier with the weather than ourselves and we will be looking to get closer to them but the main objective is not to slip up and make sure we gain a top four place."

STOKE 57: Ben Reade 15+3, Ashley Birks 15, Tony Atkin 11, Jaimie Pickard 8, Liam Carr 5+2, Ross Walter 3+2, Richie Worrall R/R.
SCUNTHORPE 37: Oliver Greenwood 16, Tom Young 7, Simon Nielsen 6, Max Clegg 6, Adam Kirby 1, Martin Wrathall 1, Gary Irving R/R.