Saturday 06 July, 2013
STOKE Easy Rider Potters gained a hard fought 48-45 victory over the Kent Kings in the National Trophy at Loomer Road on Saturday night.

The Potters had started brightly and led 14-10 after the opening four heats following a 5-1 in heat two from Lee Payne and Shaun Tedham after Adam Kirby had been disqualified for falling at the first time of asking and then Jack Kingston then had to go off the fifteen metre mark after he failed to beat the two minutes time allowance.

The Potters followed up with a 4-2 in heat four from the returning Kyle Hughes and Payne with the Kings gaining a 4-2 from Benji Compton and Sam Woods over Lee Smart and Luke Priest in heat three.

Smart and Chessell combined for a 5-1 in heat six over Ben Morley to open up a healthy eight point lead, but the Kings gained a 4-2 in heat seven from Compton and Woods in heat seven reducing the Kings deficit to six points as the Potters led 24-18.

Luke Chessell gained his second win of the night in heat eight ahead of Connor Coles as Payne took third for a Potters 4-2 and this was followed up by Hughes and Priest who gained the Potters second consecutive 4-2 to open up a ten point lead for the Potters.

Kent team manager John Sampford nominated former National League Riders Champion Benji Compton as a tactical ride in heat ten and he promptly delivered the six points but with partner Woods falling the Kings could only manage a 6-3 heat advantage. They followed this up with a further 4-2 heat win in heat eleven with a 4-2 from Steve Boxall and Connor Coles over Hughes to reduce the Potters lead to just five points with four heats remaining.

The Potters struck back with a 5-1 in heat twelve from Payne and Priest over Woods to give the Potters a 42-33 lead but the Kings were not finished as Boxall and Morley combined for a 5-1 in heat thirteen over Hughes and then a 4-2 in heat fourteen from Compton and Kingston over Payne to send the meeting into a last heat decider with the Potters leading 45-42 and the Kings sending out the previously unbeaten Steve Boxall and Benji Compton.

The race was stopped at the first attempt to run it after Compton came to grief and SCB referee Tony Steele had to hesitation in disqualifying the Kings rider after he was adjudged to have fallen on his own. With the King’s only able to gain a maximum three points it sealed victory for the Potters and it was the King’s number one Boxall who completed a faultless fifteen point maximum as he took the chequered flag ahead of Hughes and Smart to give the Potters a 48-45 victory.

Easy Rider Potters team manager Malcolm Vasey said “That was a very hard fought victory in which Kent got out of jail with a six point tactical ride and I felt there was a dubious call when Luke (Priest) was pipped on the line by Sam (Woods) I’m still dubious about that and I did feel we got into jail rather than getting out of jail. We should have pushed on after the 5-1 in heat twelve but we slipped up in heat thirteen that was disappointing and again in heat fourteen. In the first staging of heat fifteen in appeared to me that Kyle Hughes was in front with Benji Compton last when Benji (Compton) came off so perhaps we may have got more out of that heat. We also lost Luke Chessell who was taken ill after his fourth ride and was violently sick in the pits perhaps from heat exhaustion I don’t know but there was no way he could continue to take any other rides so you could say we weathered the storm tonight. Luke (Chessell) should be okay for our meeting next week and has been riding really well of late. I would though be foolish to say after the last two victories which were very brittle victories that everything is rosy in the garden there are a few green shoots but nothing more and we know our first task is to replace Ben Reade who won’t be back this season due to his injury and we have made numerous enquiries and have not found anyone to fit that spot yet. We are working hard and we asked a rider tonight but unfortunately he will not be returning to the sport until next season, but we can assure supporters we can’t try any harder than we are at the moment to get the team right.”

STOKE 48: Kyle Hughes 13, Lee Payne 11+1, Luke Chessell 9+1, Lee Smart 8+3, Luke Priest 5+1, Shaun Tedham 2+1, Ben Reade r/r.
KENT 45: Steve Boxall 15, Benji Compton 15, Ben Morley 7+1, Connor Coles 3, Sam Woods 3, Jack Kingston 2, Adam Kirby 0.