Wednesday 19 July, 2017
STOKE were defeated by double league champions Birmingham 51-39 in the Travel Plus National League at Perry Barr on Wednesday night despite a faultless 15-point maximum from number one Mitchell Davey.

Potters assistant team manager Adam Isherwood said “Birmingham is always a difficult place to come they always have a strong side and you have got to keep it on the gas around here and at one point it looked like we could possibly get something out of the match but things started to unfold for us and on another day, we might have pinched a point but we didn’t. A few more points from certain riders and we may just have done it but I cannot fault the riders for their efforts but Birmingham are a strong team and that’s why they have been league champions over the past couple of years.”

The A.R. Richards Potters started well with 4-2 heat advantages in the opening two heats with Mitchell Davey and Ryan Terry-Daley taking the honours over Layne Cupitt after Jack Parkinson-Blackburn suffered an engine failure on the start line and then Paul Burnett following this up with victory in heat 2 over Lewis Whitmore with Shaun Tedham third after Taylor Hampshire suffered mechanical problems while leading to give the Potters an 8-4 lead.

Birmingham struck back with a 4-2 in heat 3 from Tom Bacon and David Mason over skipper Tony Atkin and the Brummies’ went in front with a maximum 5-1 from Liam Carr and Hampshire over Luke Priest to leave the Potters trailing 13-11 after 4 heats.

Davey took a comfortable win in heat 5 clocking the fastest time of the evening before Birmingham extended their lead with a 5-1 from Parkinson-Blackburn and Cupitt who superbly held off Priest to extend the Brummies’ lead to six points.

Stoke fell further behind as David Mason and Taylor Hampshire who came in to replace Tom Bacon after he was excluded for a starting offence stormed to a maximum 5-1 over Priest for give the Brummies’ a ten-point lead after 9 heats as the Potters trail 32-22.

The Potters reduced the deficit with a 4-2 from the impressive Davey over former Potters Carr with Terry-Daley taking third place after Whitmore had been excluded for falling. Birmingham hit back immediately as David Mason headed home Atkin with Hampshire overhauling Paul Burnett for third place for a 4-2 to the Brummies’ as the Potters once again fall 10-points behind.

Birmingham sealed the points and victory in heat 14 as Hampshire and Bacon combined for a 5-1 over Burnett after Wallinger had fallen.

The Potters finished with a 4-2 advantage as Mitchell Davey completed a faultless maximum beating Parkinson-Blackburn with Atkin third to leave the Potters leaving empty handed losing out 51-39.

Potters heat leader Mitchell Davey commented “On the team front it was disappointing not to come away with anything but on a personal note it was really good for me to get a maximum. It is a track I love and have always enjoyed coming here and it just a pity that a few of the other lads could not come up with a couple of more points and we could have possibly come away with something from the meeting.”

BIRMINGHAM 51: Taylor Hampshire 11+2, Jack Parkinson-Blackburn 10, Liam Carr 9+1, David Mason 8+1, Tom Bacon 7+1, Layne Cupitt 4+1, Lewis Whitmore 2.
STOKE 39: Mitchell Davey 15, Tony Atkin 9, Paul Burnett 5+1, Ryan Terry-Daley 4, Luke Priest 3, David Wallinger 2+2, Shaun Tedham 1.