Saturday 05 May, 2018
STOKE lost their second consecutive home meeting of the season and first home Travel Plus National League meeting of the season as they lost out 50-37 to the Belle Vue Colts at Loomer Road on Saturday night.

The A.R. Richards Potters ended up counting the cost of eight falls for the home riders while in points scoring positions and the loss of Paul Burnett who was stuck on the M62 after a petrol tanker had crashed earlier in the day. The Potters should have been up after the opening two races as William O’Keefe fell while second in the opening heat resulting in a 4-2 for the Colts and then O’Keefe again come down in the following race while third with Joe Alcock taking his first ever victory in Potters colours. Tony Atkin and Adam Extance combined for a 4-2 to level the scores in the third race before the Colts gained a 5-0 in the fourth heat as O’Keefe retired and Rob Shuttleworth fell while in second place resulting him in being disqualified giving Jack Smith and Ben Woodhull victory to give the Colts a 12-17 lead.

Stoke did strike back as Max Clegg and Extance gained a 4-2 over Smith in heat six but the Colts struck with a couple of heat advantages in the next couple of heats to lead 19-28 at the midway point of the meeting. The Potters reduced the deficit on heat nine with a 4-2 from Atkin and Extance over Smith who had come off the 15metre mark having been excluded for a 2 minutes offence. The Potters then suffered a reverse in the following race as Clegg was leading Joe Lawlor as the Potters number 1 fell resulting in a second 5-0 for the Colts after Alcock had retired after falling and a further 4-2 for the Colts in heat eleven left the Potters trailing 25-39.

The Potters gained a 4-2 in heat twelve from Atkin and O’Keefe over Danny Phillips. Belle Vue sealed victory with two heat advantages in the next couple of races before Atkin and Clegg gained a 4-2 over Tom Perry after Lawlor had been excluded for diving up the inside of Atkin resulting in the Potters skipper being brought down.

Team manager Adam Isherwood commented “I cannot fault any of the lads for effort but we through to many points away and you cannot do that against a side like Belle Vue. We must have thrown around nine to ten points through falls while we were in points scoring positions and I simply don’t know why whether it was riders trying to hard I don’t know. We now have to dust ourselves down and look forward to the meeting at Monmore on Monday night against Cradley and hopefully they will have a night like we have here tonight.”

STOKE 37: Tony Atkin 16, Max Clegg 8, Adam Extance 6+1, Joe Alcock 4, Rob Shuttleworth 2, William O’Keefe 1, Paul Burnett r/r.
BELLE VUE 50: Tom Perry 14, Joe Lawlor 12, Danny Phillips 8+2, Ben Woodhull 8+1, Jack Smith 7, Kean Dicken 1+1, Paul Bowen r/r.