Saturday 27 April, 2013
STOKE Easy Rider Potters let a thirteen point lead slip as they drew 46 all with the Buxton Hitmen in their 2nd leg National League challenge on Saturday night at Loomer Road giving the Hitmen a 94-87 aggregate victory.

The Potters started the meeting brightly with an opening heat 4-2 from Lee Smart and Ben Reade over Charles Wright in heat one, but it wasn’t until heat seven that the Potters extended their lead to four points with a 4-2 from Kyle Hughes and Emerson Jones over Ryan Blacklock after Adam McKinna had been disqualified after he fell while second at the first time of asking causing partner Blacklock to fall. The Potters followed up the previous heats advantage with a maximum 5-1 from Reade and Shaun Tedham over Matt Williamson to give the Loomer Road side a 28-20 lead after eight races.

Stoke then gained a 5-0 advantage in heat ten after Blacklock retired with an engine problem on the first lap, Smart was leading before he drifted wide leaving his partner Reade and McKinna driving up the inside going up the home straight onto the second lap and McKinna then fell going into the first turn leaving referee Peter Clarke with no alternative but to disqualify the Hitman giving the Potters a 36-23 lead after ten heats.

Buxton team manager Jack Lee nominated Charles Wright as a tactical ride and Wright promptly delivered the six points ahead of Hughes and Tedham reducing the Potters lead to ten points.

Ryan Blacklock was disqualified from heat twelve for exceeding the two minutes time allowance resulting in Matt Williamson taking his place and Williamson made a superb gate along with Stoke guest Chris Widman who then made an error allowing Hitmen Tom Woolley through for a Buxton 5-1 and the Hitmen piled on the misery for the Potters with a 4-2 in heat thirteen from Wright and Atkin over Smart to leave the Potters with a narrow four point lead going into the final two heats.

Potters skipper Priest took the chequered flag in heat fourteen with the Hitmen taking the minor positions before Atkin and Wright combined with a maximum 5-1 in heat fifteen over Smart and Priest to leave the sides tied at 46 all on the night.

Easy Rider Potters team manager Malcolm Vasey said “We let the meeting slip through our fingers tonight and I’ll take some responsibility for that with the rider selection for heat fifteen. The match started to go wrong though around heat twelve up until then things had been plain sailing, Buxton had used their tactical ride and things were going well and then we lose a 5-1. I had been led to understand that everyone’s equipment was all okay but clearly that was not the case and I’m disappointed about that as I could have made a change. We move on from that though and will be explaining to everyone what’s needed in a speedway team and see where we go from here. We have the Isle of Wight now on Tuesday and then here again next Saturday which will be a tough couple of meetings and see where we go from there.”

STOKE 46: Lee Smart 11+1, Luke Priest 9, Kyle Hughes 8, Ben Reade 7, Shaun Tedham 6+2, Chris Widman 4+3, Emerson Jones 1.
BUXTON 46: Charles Wright 16+1, Tony Atkin 11, Matt Williamson 7+3, Tom Woolley 5+2, Adam McKinna 5, Ryan Blacklock 2, Tyler Govier 0.