Saturday 04 May, 2013
STOKE Easy Rider Potters gained a hard fought 46 all draw against the Isle of Wight Islanders in the Wightlink Trophy at Loomer Road on Saturday night, but it was the Islanders that took the trophy 107-77 on aggregate.

The Potters started brightly racing to a 17-7 lead against the Islanders who are tipped by many for this seasons’ league title. Lee Smart gained an opening heat victory over Islanders number one Tom Perry before the Potters gained a fortunate 4-2 in heat two from Shaun Tedham and Chris Widman over Brandon Freemantle after Adam Ellis fell while leading the race and this was followed up with two successive maximum heat wins with Luke Priest and Ben Reade in heat three over Ben Hopwood and then Kyle Hughes and Widman in heat four over Freemantle.

Tom Perry was introduced as a tactical ride in heat five and he promptly took victory over Priest and Reade for an Islanders 6-3 heat advantage. The Islanders continued to reduce the Potters lead with a 4-2 heat win from Ellis and Young over Smart and then added a 5-1 in heat seven from Hopwood and Ritchings over Hughes with the Potters maintaining a slender one point lead with the score 23-22 at the midway point of the meeting.

Stoke stopped the slide with a 5-1 from skipper Priest and Widman over Freemantle to open up a five point lead and this was maintained despite youngster Ellis getting the better of Priest in a superb heat nine as Ellis past the Potters skipper to take victory with Reade third for a drawn heat.

The Islanders kept battling away and gained two 4-2 heat advantages on the bounce to reduce the Potters lead to just a point after eleven heats before they levelled the scores in heat twelve. Adam Ellis touched the tapes at the first time of asking resulting in him going off fifteen metres and then Shaun Tedham falls resulting in him being disqualified. At the third attempt Hopwood got the better of Reade but Ellis fell coming off the final bend and hitting the air fence resulting in just two finishers and a 3-2 heat advantage to the Islanders leaving the scores level at 37 all.

Smart and Hughes got the better of Perry in heat thirteen after Perry made a mistake while the three riders battled it out putting the Potters four points up and with a drawn heat fourteen it left and Islanders needing a 5-1 in the final heat and it was duly delivered as Perry and Ritchings got the better of Hughes and Smart to draw the meeting on the night.

Potters team manager Malcolm Vasey was quite pleased with the performance saying “The Isle of Wight are a very good team that are tipped by many pundits for the National League title. They had a convincing win at Buxton last Sunday and we have managed a draw tonight against them with a depleted team and I’m hopeful now that we are starting to turn the corner and believe that had we got a full team tonight we may well have got a victory so I’m not to disheartened and feel that there are a lot of positives that we can take from tonight’s performance and perhaps we were a little unfortunate not to have won tonight.”

STOKE 46: Luke Priest 12, Lee Smart 10, Kyle Hughes 9+1, Ben Reade 6+3, Chris Widman 6+3, Shaun Tedham 3, Luke Chessell r/r.
ISLE OF WIGHT 46: Tom Perry 15, Ben Hopwood 10, Darryl Ritchings 8+2, Adam Ellis 6, Brandon Freemantle 4, Danny Stoneman 2+1, Tom Young 1.
Isle of Wight win 107-77 on aggregate.