Friday 18 May, 2018
STOKE look to kick-start their season when they entertain local rivals Buxton Hitmen in the National Trophy at Loomer Road on Saturday night, 7pm.

The A. R. Richards Potters are still looking for their first victory of the season and Potters co-team manager Adam Isherwood believes the Potters can get something out of Saturday’s meeting saying “I feel we are improving with every meeting and just need that little bit of luck that at times we haven’t had so far this season. We’ve also come up against come of the best teams in the league so far in Belle Vue, Cradley and Birmingham who are in the have’s in the National League while Buxton are one of the teams very similar to us. As I’ve said before in this league it isn’t exactly an even playing field but we just have to get on with it. We welcome Max (Clegg) back into the side having missed the defeat at Birmingham while we expect that we will have to use rider replacement for Rob (Shuttleworth). Joe Alcock got a couple of morale boosting victories on Wednesday night riding in the Midland Development League on Wednesday night riding for Carmarthen in the second half and hopefully he that will have given his confidence a boost and William O’Keefe has had some extra outings having ridden in the British Under-19 Championship at Ipswich on Thursday which will have helped him with extra track time. I really feel that Saturday can be a spring board for us and if we can hit Buxton hard early on and get our noses in front I do feel we are capable of going on and winning the meeting.”

The Hitmen are also looking for their first win of the season and have suffered injuries early on with former Potter David Wallinger having been on the side lines for a few weeks and on Wallinger’s return to action the Hitmen lost Connor Coles to a broken ankle. Former Potter Ben Wilson leads the Hitmen into action and he has been in fine form so far this season recording a maximum in the Hitmen’s home defeat to Coventry and he is well supported by David Wallinger who gained joint winner of the Potters rider of the year last season and will be out to prove a point against his former club. Buxton’s skipper Tom Woolley who is quite capable of scoring well around the Chesterton circuit is the only rider from last seasons’ side to return to the club this year with Corban Pavitt gaining experience in every ride in his first full season at National League level. The Hitmen will use rider replacement for the injured Connor Coles. At reserve the Hitmen have Lewis Whitmore and another new boy to league racing this season in Kieran Douglas.

STOKE: Max Clegg, Paul Burnett, Tony Atkin (Captain), Adam Extance, Rob Shuttleworth or Rider Replacement, Joe Alcock, William O’Keefe, Team manager: Adam Isherwood
BUXTON: Ben Wilson, Corban Pavitt, Connor Coles (Rider Replacement), Tom Woolley (Captain), David Wallinger, Kieran Douglas, Lewis Whitmore, Team manager: Joshua Moss