Sunday 26 August, 2012
STOKE Easy Rider Potters had to be content with fourth place in the National League Fours Championship at Loomer Road on Sunday as the Mildenhall Fen Tigers roared to victory in the final ahead of the Buxton Hitmen and Dudley Heathens who finished third.

The Potters finished second in their group behind comfortable victors of the first semi final Dudley Heathens. The Potters led third placed Rye House by six points after the first five races but the Raiders kept edging closer and with one race remaining it was left to debutant James Cockle to gain his first race win in Potters colours to seal a place in the final.

In the second semi final the Fen Tigers blazed to glory with Daniel Halsey the only Tiger to drop a point as they took victory in seven of the eight races Buxton's Charles Wright the only other rider to win a heat as the Hitmen also gained a place in the final

In the Final the Fen Tigers gained victories in the opening three heats the third being fortunate as Potters rider Ashley Birks crashed heavily while leading thankfully getting up. In the rerun Heathen Adam Roynon also crashed leaving Daniel Halsey to get the better of Luke Priest.

Buxton went to within two points of the Tigers with a Charles Wright victory over Lewis Blackbird and then Adam McKinna grabbing third ahead of Blackbird in heat five behind heat winner Birks and Heathen Darryl Ritchings.

The Fen men then got the upper hand with victories in the next two heats to give them a five point lead and victory in the meeting with one race to spare.

Tigers skipper Lewis Blackbird said "We gelled together as a team today and everything came good for us. This is our second piece of silverware for us this season following on from the National League Pairs for us earlier this season and we hoping there is more to come."

Easy Rider Potters team manager Malcolm Vasey commented "We always hoped we would make the final today after what has been a very difficult week for us as everyone knows. We were also missing Ben Reade who is s key rider for us through injury so we did well to qualify for the final and we could possibly have done a little better in the final had we not suffered from a couple of falls but we didn't and we finished fourth, but I don't feel we have disgraced ourselves with James Cockle coming into the team under a great deal of pressure for a meeting like this to have to make your debut in and he has done very well. Congratulations to Mildenhall on today's victory and now we turn out attentions to our trip to Mildenhall in our KO Cup semi final first leg against the Tigers at West Row tomorrow."

MILDENHALL 17: Lewis Blackbird 2, Stefan Nielsen 6, Joe Jacobs 6, Danny Halsey 3.
BUXTON 13: Adam McKinna 2, Luke Priest 4, Charles Wright 4, Dean Felton 3.
DUDLEY 10: Darryl Ritchings 2, Ashley Morris 5, Adam Roynon 2, Byron Bekker 1.
STOKE 7: Ashley Birks 3, James Cockle 2, Tony Atkin 1, Liam Carr 1.

DUDLEY 21: Adam Roynon 6, Darryl Ritchings 5, Ashley Morris 6, Byron Bekker 4.
STOKE 13: Ashley Birks 5, James Cockle 5, Tony Atkin 2, Liam Carr 1.
RYE HOUSE 9: Connor Coles 0, Ben Morley 4, James Sarjeant 3, Luke Chessell 2.
ISLE OF WIGHT 5: Paul Starke 2, Ross Walter 1, Danny Stoneman 2, Ben Hopwood 0.

MILDENHALL 23: Lewis Blackbird 6, Stefan Nielsen 6, Joe Jacobs 6, Danny Halsey 5.
BUXTON 12: Charles Wright 5, Adam McKinna 4, Luke Priest 1, Dean Felton 2.
KING’S LYNN 6: Brendan Johnson 0, Lewis Kerr 3, Jake Knight 2, Tom Stokes 1.
SCUNTHORPE 5: Danny Phillips 2, Tommy Fenwick 0, Oliver Greenwood 3, Tom Young 0.
Reserve: Richard Andrews 1.

Stoke now turn their attentions to the National League Knock Out Cup semi final when they take on Mildenhall in the first leg at West Row on Monday 6.30pm.

The Potters will use rider replacement for the injured Ben Reade while Buxton's Charles Wright will guest for Ashley Birks who is riding for Scunthorpe in the Premier League.

Stoke became the first team to beat the Tigers in sixteen months when they defeated them 47-45 in the National League earlier this month.

Mildenhall will use rider replacement for their injured number one Cameron Heeps.

Potters team boss Vasey commented "We will be going to do a job and hopefully keep the score close. With Ash away riding for Scunthorpe we've managed to book Charles Wright as a guest who curiously Mildenhall also approached but we thankfully managed to book him first that was fortunate for us. We are obviously without Ben Reade who is a big miss but hopefully he will be fit to return next Saturday against Buxton here at Loomer Road."

Mildenhall: Cameron Heeps (Rider Replacement), Joe Jacobs, Stefan Nielsen, Daniel Halsey, Lewis Blackbird, Ryan Terry Daley, Josh Bates
Stoke: Charles Wright, Richard Andrews, Tony Atkin, Ben Reade (Rider Replacement), James Cockle, Liam Rumsey, Liam Carr