Saturday 22 April, 2017
STOKE A.R. Richards Potters lost out in a last heat decider as the Belle Vue Colts clawed themselves back from a nine-point deficit to take a 45-44 victory in the Travel Plus National League in front of a large crowd at Loomer Road on Saturday night.

The Potters started brightly with a 5-1 in heat three from skipper Tony Atkin and Ryan Terry-Daley after Colts skipper Lee Payne retired with mechanical problems to give Stoke a 4-point lead over the Colts. Heat six proved interesting with Payne being disqualified under the two minutes resulting in him going off 15 metres. The Potters pairing of Mitchell Davey and Shaun Tedham out gated Kyle Bickley but Tedham got into trouble and fell resulting in him being disqualified from the rerun and then Bickley then fell resulting in the youngster being disqualified leaving Davey off the start line and Payne on 15 metres and Davey won comfortably to give the Potters a 3-2 heat win. David Walinger and Tedham gained a maximum heat advantage in heat eight over Andy Mellish and Luke Woodhull giving the Potters a 28-19 lead.

The Colts started their fight back in heat eleven as the immaculate Dan Bewley gained his third win of the night beating Luke Priest while Mellish took third for the Colts for their first heat advantage of the evening with a 4-2. Bewley and Payne combined for a 5-1 in heat thirteen over Davey and Priest as the visitors reduced the Potters lead to just three points with the final two heats leaving the points up for grabs for either team.

Jack Smith took victory in heat fourteen after Potters captain Atkin had been disqualified for bringing Smith down, Wallinger took second ahead of Woodhull and leaving the Potters with a slender one point lead going into the final race. Bewley completed his maximum as he took victory from Atkin with Payne taking third place after Davey had fallen having hit a rut in the track while second he the Colts took a 44-45 victory in what was a very hard fought match between both sides.

Potters number one Mitchell Davey commented “It’s a little bit hard to take now but it’s speedway if the decision with Tony (Atkin) had gone our way in heat fourteen because it did not look like there was a lot of contact but it’s one of those things that could have gone either way and unfortunately it went against us this time. Then in heat fifteen I’ll be honest I don’t normally look for my partner on the first lap I got my head down and if I had then I may not have made the mistake I did, but then a lot of people have under estimated us with a lot of people saying we were going to get absolutely hammered tonight and if I’m honest we probably lost it rather than Belle Vue winning the meeting. There are plenty of positives to take out of this meeting we led right until the final heat everyone chipped in with points and the Colts are many people’s tips for the title this season and we should have won. We want to make this place a fortress and not let this happen again.”

STOKE 44: David Wallinger 10+2, Mitchell Davey 9, Ryan Terry-Daley 8+1, Tony Atkin 7+2, Luke Priest 7, Shaun Tedham 3+2, William O’Keefe 0.
BELLE VUE 45: Dan Bewley 15, Lee Payne 11+1, Jack Smith 11, Kyle Bickley 4+2, Luke Woodhull 2+1, Andy Mellish 2, Rob Shuttleworth r/r.