Wednesday 10 October, 2012
STOKE Easy Rider Potters crashed out of the National League Play Offs as they went down to a 41-54 defeat against table toppers Dudley Heathens as the West Midlands outfit went through 98-84 on aggregate.

The Potters had trailed by just a single point after the first leg at Monmore Green on Tuesday night but the Loomer Road side could provide only three race winners in fifteen races as the Heathens dominated the meeting from the start as they gained a maximum 5-1 in the opening heat from Joe Haines and Darryl Ritchings over Liam Carr after Ashley Birks who fell while leading the race.

After a series of drawn races the Heathens hit the Potters for six with two maximum 5-1 heat advantages and a 4-2 to leave the Potters trailing 34-20 after nine heats before Stoke stemmed the tide with Birks coming out as a tactical ride in heat ten as he took victory from Tom Perry and Dan Greenwood for the Potters first heat advantage of the night a 6-3 leaving the Potters trailing 26-37 after ten heats.

The Heathens again extended their lead with a 4-2 from Haines and Greenwood over Atkin who managed to overhaul Greenwood leaving the Potters trailing by thirteen points. James Cockle came out as a tactical ride in heat twelve but but it was Tom Perry who took the chequered flag ahead of Cockle with Lee Geary taking third place ahead of Ritchings who suffered a blown engine while in last place giving the Potters a 5-3 race advantage.

Dudley sealed victory with two heats to spare as Haines reeled off his fourth victory of the night ahead of Atkin with Ashley Morris third after Birks had fallen on the final lap attempting to get around Haines going into the third turn resulting in a 4-2 for the Heathens. Ben Reade took victory ahead of Greenwood in heat fourteen as Liam Rumsey grabbed third ahead of Tommy Fenwick for a Potters consolation 4-2 race win as the Potters trailed 39-50 going into the final heat.

Joe Haines completed his maximum in the final heat as he took a comfortable victoryfrom Reade with Perry just failing with one of his customary last bend swoops down to the chequered flag failed to catch Reade for second place, Cockle have fallen while in third place to give the Heathens a comfortable victory on the night.

Easy Rider Potters skipper Tony Atkin commented "It went wrong right from the start tonight I said all along tonight was going to be the harder meeting as I thought we'd do well at Dudley and it proved to be the case as unfortunately we're not doing the business around our own track at the moment and it showed tonight. Losing Simon (Lambert) and Richie (Worrall) earlier in the season hurt us badly as when we had Simon and Ashley (Birks) or Richie and Ash giving us two real good top end heatleaders with the rest of us gaining the other points and we would also all chip in with race wins here and there, but we are just not strong enough and that was evident tonight."

STOKE 41: James Cockle 9+1, Ashley Birks 9, Ben Reade 8+1, Tony Atkin 7, Lee Geary 4+2, Liam Rumsey 2+1, Liam Carrr 2.
DUDLEY 54: Joe Haines 15, Tom Perry 12, Ashley Morris 11+1, Darryl Ritchings 10+2, Dan Greenwood 6+2, Tommy Fenwick 0, Byron Bekker r/r.