Sunday 14 April, 2013
STOKE Easy Rider Potters went down to a 55-37 defeat against last seasons’ league title winners Mildenhall in their opening National Trophy fixture of the season.

The Potters started brightly with a 4-2 in the opening heat as Ben Reade and Lee Smart gated well, but Smart was passed by home number one Stefan Nielsen who was unable to catch Reade who was well in front.

Mildenhall’s reaction was immediate as former Potter Liam Rumsey and Nathan Stoneman gained a maximum 5-1 over Shaun Tedham and Emerson Jones to put the Tigers in front 7-5 after two heats.

Mildenhall extended their lead in heat five with a 5-1 from Josh Bates and Jon Armstrong over Reade in heat five and followed that up with a 4-2 from Nielsen and Aaron Baseby in heat six to open up an eight point lead. The Fen men continued to pile the pressure on with a 4-2 in heat eight from Stoneman and Baseby with Reade splitting the Tigers partnership as the Potters trail 29-19 after eight heats.

Potters team manager Malcolm Vasey nominated Kyle Hughes as a tactical ride in heat none but it was Armstrong that took victory with Hughes taking second place ahead of partner Jones who finished third after Bates had fallen for a 5-3 heat advantage for the Potters to reduce the deficit to eight points.

The Tigers regained their ten point lead in heat ten as Nielsen took victory from Luke Priest, but with Baseby finishing ahead of Luke Chessell the home side gained a 4-2 heat win. Mildenhall extended their lead to twelve with a further 4-2 heat advantage from Bates and Stoneman over Chessell before Lee Smart stemmed the tide taking victory in heat thirteen ahead of Nielsen and Daniel Halsey as Mildenhall secure the victory on the afternoon with the Potters trailing 46-34 with two heats remaining.

Armstrong got the better of Priest in heat fourteen as Rumsey held off Jones for a Fen Tigers 4-2 to seal all three points with the Potters unable to get within seven points of their rivals. Mildenhall finished the meeting off with a maximum 5-1 in the final heat as Armstrong completed a paid maximum and he was followed home by partner Nielsen with Smart third to give the Tigers a comfortable 55-37 victory over the Potters.

Easy Rider Potters team manager Malcolm Vasey commented “It was a gaters paradise this afternoon with very little passing, even Mildenhall’s number one Stefan Nielsen could not pass today and we were simply out gated by the Mildenhall riders. We are a team that is still coming together and that was our first meeting as an actually team and there is plenty of room for improvement which I will be expecting to see in our next meeting at Buxton next Sunday.”

MILDENHALL 55: Jon Armstrong 14+1, Stefan Nielsen 12+1, Daniel Halsey 9+1, Nathan Stoneman 7+2, Josh Bates 6, Liam Rumsey 4, Aaron Baseby 3.
STOKE 37: Kyle Hughes 9, Ben Reade 7+1, Lee Smart 7, Luke Priest 6+2, Luke Chessell 6, Emerson Jones 1+1, Shaun Tedham 1.