Friday 05 May, 2017
STOKE entertain back to back league Champions Birmingham in the Travel Plus National League at Loomer Road on Saturday, 7pm.

The A.R. Richards Potters look to continue where they left off at Buxton last Sunday as they took a convincing win over the Hitmen and with the Stoke septet taking heart from the defeat against Belle Vue Colts a fortnight ago in a match the side they feel should have won they go into the meeting in buoyant mood.

The Brummies’ have started their defence of the title in good form after a home challenge defeat against Cradley they have had a solid 54-36 victory over the King’s Lynn Young Stars and another convincing 54-36 home win over Plymouth and they will be looking to maintain their former on Saturday at the Chesterton circuit.
Birmingham have suffered a double blow though firstly losing Danyon Hume who suffered a badly broken arm recently and will be out for the rest of the season and then after announcing the signing of former Potter Liam Carr as a replacement have found out that Carr cannot take his place in the line-up until Sunday 7th May as his average does not change until that date resulting in the West Midlands outfit using rider replacement to cover for Hume’s absence. The Perry Barr club are led into action by Tom Bacon and he will be well supported by club skipper Darryl Ritchings who recently finished third in the Pride of the Potteries and teenager Jack Parkinson-Blackburn who has started the season well with Kyle Roberts completing the Brummies’ top five. Macauley Leek and Layne Cupitt who has been a revelation so far, this season at reserve complete the Birmingham line-up.

Stoke remain unchanged from the team that had the win at Buxton last Sunday as they look to open their points total account for the new season.

Luke Priest commented “We are looking forward to taking on the league champions it will be an extremely tough meeting but we are coming off the back of the win at Buxton last week and know we threw away points due to falls against Belle Vue the previous week rather than Belle Vue actually winning the meeting. Birmingham have also been hit with the injury to Danyon (Hume) who will be a big loss for them especially with the form he was in and although everyone in their team can take a ride to over for him it is still a big loss to them. The start of the season has seen a real belief that we can challenge anyone this year and that we can beat anyone on our day. We have had some good scores from our reserves this season and hopefully they can continue that on Saturday and the rest of the lads can come up with the scores we are all capable of achieving and we may well surprise a few people.”

STOKE: Mitchell Davey, Shaun Tedham, Ryan Terry-Daley, Tony Atkin (Captain), Luke Priest, David Speight, David Wallinger
BIRMINGHAM: Tom Bacon, Kyle Roberts, Darryl Ritchings (Captain), Danyon Hume r/r, Jack Parkinson-Blackburn, Macauley Leek, Layne Cupitt