Thursday 27 July, 2017
STOKE suffered a 56-33 defeat against the Isle of Wight Warriors in the Travel Plus National League at the Smallbrook Stadium on Thursday evening with the Potters also losing David Wallinger in his first ride due to injury.

The A.R. Richards Potters fell behind in heat two as Adam Portwood and Jamie Sealey combined for a 4-2 over Shaun Tedham for a Warriors 4-2.

There was then drama in heat three as David Wallinger and Tony Atkin led before Wallinger clipped the safety fence off turn two careering into the boards as he fell heavily. Wallinger was excluded from the rerun while the stricken rider was taken to hospital. In the rerun the race was again stopped as Scott Campos crashed while James Cockle was awarded the victory with Tony Atkin taking second place for a Warriors 3-2 to give the Warriors a 10-7 lead after three heats. The Potters slipped further behind as Connor Coles and Portwood took a 4-2 advantage over Luke Priest and Tedham to open a five point lead.

Potters guest Ben Morley stemmed the tide as he took victory over Campos and Cockle for a drawn heat. This was followed with a second successive race win for the Potters as Priest took the chequrered flag ahead of former Potters Chris Widman and Ben Wilson taking the minor placings for a second drawn heat.

A further couple oouple of drawn heats ensued but the Potters still trail by five points at the midway point of the meeting with the Warriors holding a 26-21 advantage.

Cockle and Campos took a maximum 5-1 heats advantage to extend the Warriors lead with Priest third leaving Stoke trailing 31-22 after nine races and a mountain to climb without the injured Wallinger.

The Isle of Wight extended their lead with a 4-2 from Wilson and Widman over Atkin in heat ten as the Potters fall eleven points behind with five heats remaining.

Stoke suffered a further 5-1 reverse in heat twelve as Cockle and Portwood teamed up to defeat Paul Burnett after Potters skipper Atkin suffered a mechanical failure while leading the race to seal the points for the Warriors with three heats remaining as the Potters trail 43-28. The misery continued for the Potters as the Warriors pairing of Coles and Wilson combined for a maximum 5-1 over Morley. Warriors Connor Coles completed a 15-point maximum for the Isle of Wight as the Potters fate was sealed.

Potters team manager Malcolm Vasey commented “It was a disappointing night for us where things just did not go right and it was a massive blow too lose David Wallinger in a nasty looking crash and have to be taken to hospital with a lower back injury and that really knocked the stuffing out of us. The team battled on bravely but we ran out of steam in the latter part of the meeting and we send our best wishes too David and wait to see what the verdict from the doctors is.”

ISLE OF WIGHT 56: Connor Coles 15, Ben Wilson 10+2, James Cockle 10+1, Scott Campos 7+1, Adam Portwood 6+1, Chris Widman 6, Jamie Sealey 2
STOKE 33: Ben Morley 10, Shaun Tedham 7+1, Luke Priest 6, Tony Atkin 6, Ryan Terry-Daley 3+3, Paul Burnett 1, David Wallinger 0
National League points: Isle of Wight 3 Stoke 0