Sunday 02 July, 2017
STOKE gained only their second win of the season as they gained a hard fought 47-43 victory over Cradley in the Travel Plus National League at Loomer road on Sunday evening.

The A.R. Richards Potters gained an opening heat 4-2 from Mitchell Davey and Ryan Terry-Daley over Ben Morley to lead early on before Cradley struck back with a 4-2 from former Potter James Cockle and Luke Harris over Potters skipper Tony Atkin after David Wallinger had been excluded for falling to level the scores at 9-9 after the opening three heats.

The Potters then had a mid-meeting rally of heat victories starting with a 5-1 from Davey and Terry-Daley over Shelby Rutherford after Heathens skipper Tom Perry had pulled up with mechanical problems, this was then followed up with a 4-2 from Paul Burnett and Luke Priest over Cockle and a second 5-1 in three heats for the Potters was completed in heat eight by Burnett and Terry-Daley over Conor Dwyer to give the Potters a 29-19 lead at the midway point of the meeting.

The Heathens struck back with a 4-2 from Perry and Dwyer in the next heat over Atkin, but Stoke returned the compliment as Davey and Terry-Daley gained a fortunate 4-2 over Luke Harris after Cockle fell on the final turn while leading, restoring the Potters ten point lead.

The two teams then traded blows as first the Heathens struck with a 5-1 from Morley and Joe Lawlor to reduce the Potters lead to six points, Stoke then struck with a 4-2 from Atkin over Dwyer with Potters debutant Joe Alcock taking third after Cockle fell for a second time while leading on the final turn. The Heathens then gained a 5-1 from Morley and Perry over Priest to leave the West Midlands outfit trailing by four points. Stoke sealed the Points in heat fourteen as David Wallinger took victory followed home by Burnett for a 5-1 over Harris. Cradley took a consolation 5-1 in the final heat, but it was the Potters who took the victory on the night.

Potters skipper Tony Atkin said “It’s obviously good for the team to beat Cradley and good for Stoke Speedway. We needed a win and we got it, before the meeting if you have said we would win by four points I’d have been happy with that. There were a lot of good things to come out of tonight’s meeting Paul (Burnett) did well and David Wallinger had a great heat fourteen and for us there is plenty of positives to be taken into our next few meetings next weekend. The most important thing for us though is we have got the win and that is all that matters against a very good Cradley side.”

STOKE 47: Paul Burnett 12+1, Mitchell Davey 10, Tony Atkin 9, Ryan Terry-Daley 6+2, Luke Priest 5, David Wallinger 4+1, Joe Alcock 1.
CRADLEY 43: Ben Morley 13+1, Tom Perry 9+2, Conor Dwyer 6, James Cockle 5, Shelby Rutherford 4+1, Luke Harris 4, Joe Lawlor 2+1.