Thursday 20 April, 2017
STOKE A.R. Richards Potters open their Travel Plus National League campaign with the visit of the highly-fancied Belle Vue Colts on Saturday night, 7pm.

The Potters will look to show their credentials for the coming season as they look to start the season on a high as they give debuts to new number one and Pride of the Potteries winner Mitchell Davey, David Speight and David Wallinger while former skipper Luke Priest returns to the clubs ranks along with Ryan Terry-Daley with captain Tony Atkin and Shaun Tedham the only two remaining from last seasons’ septet.

Potters team manager Malcolm Vasey commented “I’m looking to get the season off to a winning start because I do believe in the side we have assembled here this year. We will be giving Belle Vue every respect because we know they have riders who go very well around Loomer Road with Lee Payne, Kyle Bickley showed what he could do in the Pride of the Potteries a few weeks back and then you have the likes of the talented Dan Bewley and Stoke based Jack Smith who has made the switch from Birmingham over the winter so we are expecting a very close meeting. Our riders looked good in our meeting a week last Sunday and if they ride like that then I really do feel we can gain the victory in what should be a cracker of a meeting and we really do need our supporters to get behind the team on Saturday because it would be massive for us to win this meeting and be a real confidence booster for the club and show our intentions to the rest of the National League, this is a meeting which really can catch the imagination of the supporters and I know the riders would really appreciate a large crowd backing them as they would really become our eighth rider on the night.”

The Colts will be led into action by Dan Bewley who has been riding well with the Colts senior side the Aces and he picked up a faultless 15-point maximum while guesting for Mildenhall in the Tigers victory over Cradley at Monmore Green on Monday and he will receive solid support from former skipper Lee Payne and Jack Smith who picked up a league championship medal last season with Birmingham. The Colts will utilise the rider replacement facility for Rob Shuttleworth as the former Potter will be riding for Championship club Workington in their KO Cup clash against Newcastle. Completing the top five will be former Spitfires rider Andy Mellish while at reserve the Colts have the talented youngster Kyle Bickley who scored 8 points at Loomer Road on his first visit to the Chesterton circuit a fortnight ago and Luke Woodhull taking the number seven berth and his brother Ben Woodhull being named as number eight.

A.R. Richards Potters skipper Tony Atkin said “This is a very tough opening meeting for us since Belle Vue are possibly the strongest team in the league this year, but I do believe if we ride to our capabilities then we can win the meeting and it really would give the supporters something to shout about and send them home happy.”

STOKE: Mitchell Davey, Shaun Tedham, Ryan Terry-Daley, Tony Atkin (Captain), Luke Priest, David Speight, David Wallinger
BELLE VUE: Dan Bewley, Andy Mellish, Rob Shuttleworth R/R, Jack Smith, Lee Payne, Kyle Bickley, Luke Woodhull, Ben Woodhull

The action does not stop after the National League meeting as supporters are treated to a further six heats making twenty-one races in all on the night as the Carmarthen PDN Delikatesy Dragons take to the track for their first home meeting of the season in the Midland Development League as they also take on Belle Vue.

The Dragons have already had an outing this season as they lost out to the Scunthorpe Stags 18-12 and they will be looking to open their home account at Loomer Road.

Leading the Dragons into action will be Russell Barnett and Connor Fletcher along with Danny Wright and Joe Alcock who top scored for the Dragons in the defeat at the Eddie Wright Raceway as he scored 8 points. The Dragons will need to be at their best against the Manchester outfit who have the likes of Colts number eight Ben Woodhull leading them and Sam Woolley, Jake Isherwood and Stephen Whitehouse who has previously rode for the Stoke Spitfires.

Dragons joint team manager Lawrence Fielding commented “We will be looking to put on a display for the supporters and look to take the points that are on offer. We have already had a meeting this season a few weeks back at Scunthorpe in which we lost but it was many of the lads first time out for the season with little practice so I’m hopeful we can get things off to a winning start on Saturday and give our supporters something to cheer.

Fielding continued “I’d like to thank the Stoke promotion for giving us the opportunity to ride here this season and for the support of the Stoke supporters who have been very supportive in their comments to riding in the Potteries it really is appreciated from everyone associated with the Dragons.”

CARMARTHEN: Russell Barnett, Danny Wright, Connor Fletcher, Joe Alcock
BELLE VUE: Ben Woodhull, Stephen Whitehouse, Jake Isherwood, Sam Woolley