Saturday 24 June, 2017
STOKE fell to their third home defeat of the season as the high flying Eastbourne Eagles returned to Sussex with all four points defeating the Potters 50-40 in the Travel Plus National League at Loomer Road on Saturday night.

The A.R. Richards Potters started brightly with 4-2’s in the opening two heats as Mitchell Davey took the flag beating Eagles number one Tom Brennan with Ryan Terry-Daley third and then Paul Burnett on his return to the Potters took victory over Charley Powell with Shaun Tedham to leave the Potters with an 8-4 lead. The Eagles levelled the scores in heat three as Mark Baseby and Georgie Hunter combined for a 5-1 over Terry-Daley and Daniel Halsey who fell on the last lap while challenging the Eagles pairing. The Eagles went in front in the following race with a 4-2 from Jake Knight and Powell with Potters skipper Luke Priest managing to pass Powell to take second place giving the Sussex side a 13-11 lead after four heats.

The Potters struck back in heat six as Davey and Priest combined for a maximum 5-1 over Knight and Kean Dicken to put the Potters back in front by two points, but the lead was short lived as the Eagles levelled the scores with a 4-2 from Baseby and Wood over Priest to leave the scores at 21-21 at the midway point of the meeting.

Eastbourne retake the lead with a 4-2 from Baseby and Powell over Davey who fought admirably to get past Baseby but to no avail as the Eagle kept the throttle wide open to beat the Potters number one. The Eagles extended their lead with a 4-2 in heat ten from Eagles skipper Wood and Baseby over Davey after Daniel Halsey had been excluded for falling to give Eastbourne a 32-28 lead.

The high flying Eagles showed exactly why they are unbeaten in the league this season as reserve Powell powered home ahead of skipper Wood for a 5-1 over Tedham and Terry-Daley as the Sussex side extend their lead to eight points. Knight took victory in heat thirteen for the Eagles as the Potters pairing of Priest and Davey took the minor placings for a drawn heat, but Eastbourne take victory with a heat to spare as Baseby and Powell gain a 4-2 over Halsey to give the Eagles a 47-37 lead with one heat remaining. Knight took victory in the final race with Davey and Priest taking the minor placings giving the Eagles a comfortable 50-40 victory.

Potters team manager Malcolm Vasey commented “Make no mistake about it to my mind Eastbourne are definitely Champions elect this season and there is no doubting they are a very good team and solid throughout, having said that had we performed to our best then at worst it would have been very close, but this was not the case tonight. We had sub standard performances in the team and we cannot go on like this forever and I think that in the next week we will be looking to address this issue. It is very frustrating for us because had we got just five more points which in our team we should have been able to get we would have got at least a draw from the meeting and it really is disappointing and I apologise to our supporters for tonight’s performance because we should have tested them a lot more than we have done this evening.”

STOKE 40: Mitchell Davey 13+1, Luke Priest 12+2, Dan Halsey 7, Paul Burnett 4, Ryan Terry-Daley 3+1, Shaun Tedham 1, Tony Atkin r/r.
EASTBOURNE 50: Mark Baseby 13, Jake Knight 13, Charley Powell 10+2, Georgie Wood 8+2, Tom Brennan 6, Kean Dicken 0, Matt Bates r/r.