Saturday 15 June, 2013
STOKE Easy Rider Potters gained a hard fought victory to defeat the Isle of Wight Islanders 45-44 at Loomer Road in the National Trophy on Saturday night.

The Potters got off to the worst possible start and trailed 9-3 after the opening two heats before Luke Priest gained a heat victory for the Potters in heat three for a drawn heat. Stoke then gained a 5-0 race advantage through Lee Payne and Kyle Hughes after Brandon Freemantle fell at the first time of asking and in the rerun Tom Young then fell and with both Islanders having been disqualified leaving the Potters trailing by a single point with the score 11-12 after four heats.

The Potters went in front with a 4-2 from Priest and Reade with Perry splitting the Potters pairing the race having been awarded after Ellis lost control on the fourth turn causing him to fall leaving the Potters in front 15-14 after five races.

Darryl Ritchings and Ben Hopwood put the Islanders back in front in heat seven with a 5-1 over Hughes to leave the Potters trailing 19-22 at the midway point of the meeting before Stoke struck back with a 4-2 from Payne and Luke Chessell in heat eight over Ritchings and then gained a 5-1 from Potters skipper Priest and Ben Reade over Ellis in heat nice to put the Potters back in front 28-25.

The Isle of Wight went back in front with a 5-1 in heat twelve from Ellis and Islanders skipper Ben Hopwood over Reade leaving the Potters trailing by a single point with three heats to go and the meeting again swayed back into Stoke’s favour with a 4-2 from Lee Smart and Hughes over Tom Perry to put the Potters in front 39-38.

The Islanders were not finished though as Ellis and Ritchings combined for a 5-1 heat win to put themselves back in front and also assure themselves of a league point regardless of the final race as they could not be beaten by more than six points as they promptly secured the National Trophy for the 2013 season leaving the Potters trailing by three points going into the final heat.

It was the Potters who finally got the win on the night as Smart and Priest held the hard riding Ritchings at bay as they secured a final heat 5-1 giving the Potters 45-44 victory on the night.

Easy Rider Potters team manager said “It was a good win tonight over a very good Isle of Wight side and it was also a very exciting finish with a 5-1 to us in the final heat and I’m extremely pleased with what was a very good team performance. We had a handicap right from the off with the firepower they have at reserve in Adam Ellis which they are entitled to use and after weathering the early storm we came back and won the match and credit to everybody for a solid team effort.”

STOKE 45: Luke Priest 12+1, Lee Smart 12, Lee Payne 8, Kyle Hughes 6+1, Ben Reade 4+1, Luke Chessell 2+1, Shaun Tedham 1+1.
ISLE OF WIGHT 44: Adam Ellis 16, Darryl Ritchings 11+2, Tom Perry 9+1, Ben Hopwood 7+3, Brandon Freemantle 1, Tom Young 0, Danny Stoneman R/R.