Saturday 08 October, 2016
STOKE got back to winning ways gaining a 54-33 victory over the Isle of Wight in the Travel Plus National League at Loomer Road on Saturday night.

The Potters started brightly gaining a 14-4 lead in the opening three heats before former Potter James Cockle took victory in heat four as Paul Burnett managed to split the Warriors pairing with Layne Cupitt taking third place after Ben Hopwood suffered an engine failure at the starting gate.

Ben Wilson amd Hopwood gained a 4-2 over Cockle in heat six and the Potters edged further in front with a maximum 5-1 heat win from skipper Tony Atkin and Paul Burnett over Cupitt to give the Potters a 31-17 lead after eight heats.

The Potters gained a further heat advantage in heat eleven in a dramatic heat which saw Warriors number 1 Mark Baseby first of all disqualified for going on the infield and then subsequently being disqualified for delaying the start after he refused to go off the 15 metre mark, when eventually he did accept the decision Baseby roared over the centre of the track and back to the pits. With Sam Woods already having been disqualified for falling it left Hopwood and Chris Hay, but the drama was not finished as Hopwood suffered a further mechanical failure resulting in Hay being the only finisher for a 3-0 heat advantage.

Stoke sealed the points and their first win since July with maximum points in heat twelve as Atkin and Burnett took the chequered flag ahead of Nathan Stoneman.

Both Ben Wilson and Tony Atkin recorded 15 point maximums and they were well supported by Paul Burnett who finished on 9+2.

A delighted Potters team manager Malcolm Vasey commented “It was an all round team performance with everyone chipping in with at least a paid win. Ben (Hopwood) suffered some mechanical gremlins but still scored some important points and it was pleasing to see both Tony (Atkin) and Ben (Wilson) record maximums on the night. Paul Burnett had a very good evening as did Chris Hay and it shows what we could do should we all fire on the same night. I now hope we can continue tonight’s form in to our remaining matches and give our supporters something to smile about.”

STOKE 54: Ben Wilson 15, Tony Atkin 15, Paul Burnett 9+2, Chris Hay 6, Shaun Tedham 5+3, Ben Hopwood 4, Danny Phillips R/R.
ISLE OF WIGHT 33: James Cockle 11, Sam Woods 7+2, Chris Widman 6, Mark Baseby 4+2, Nathan Stoneman 3+1, Layne Cupitt 2, Lee Smart R/R.