STOKE A.R. Richards Potters suffered a 41-49 defeat in the Travel Plus National League against Cradley at Loomer Road last night.
In an entertaining meeting with some good racing the lead changed hands several times until the Heathens finally edged in front in heat eight with a 4-2 heat advantage from Bradley Andrews and Richard Andrews over Paul Burnett to give the Black Country outfit the lead 23-25. A further couple of 4-2 heat advantages edged the Heathens into a six point lead which the Potters never recovered from and with a third 4-2 from the immaculate Max Clegg and Ashley Morris over Potters guest Danyon Hume who held off Morris to take second place splitting the Heathens pairing leaving the Potters trailing by eight points with two heats to go.
Danny Phillips took victory in the penultimate race leaving the Heathens at least a drawn heat to take all four points. Heathens skipper Clegg missed the start as the Potters pairing of Hume and Tony Atkin on for maximum points, but Clegg forced his way past the Potters skipper and set about catching Hume and coming off the final turn the Potters guest just went slightly wide allowing Clegg for take victory on the finish line by a matter of inches to clinch all four points for the Heathens and complete a 15 point maximum on a personal front.
Top scorers for the Potters was skipper Tony Atkin with 11+1 and he was superbly supported by guest Danyon Hume who scored 11 points with Danny Phillips chipping in with 7+2.
Potters team manager Malcolm Vasey commented “Although is was disappointing to lose we battled extremely hard and pushed them all the way. We had a superb guest in Danyon Hume who did an excellent job for us and it was good to see Tony (Atkin) top scoring for us tonight. All the team fought hard and there was some good racing tonight and despite the result I hope the supporters enjoyed the meeting. We now have another difficult meeting on Sunday afternoon against the high flying Eastbourne Eagles and we can hopefully put in another spirited display.”
STOKE 41: Tony Atkin 11+1, Danyon Hume 11, Danny Phillips 7+2, Ben Hopwood 6, Paul Burnett 3+1, Shaun Tedham 2+1, Chris Hay 1.
CRADLEY 49: Max Clegg 15, Luke Chessell 10, Bradley Andrews 9+1, Ashley Morris 8, Ben Basford 3, Joe Lawlor (no.8) 2+1, Richard Andrews 2, James Purchase r/r.