Thursday 23 May, 2019
STOKE put up a spirited display narrowly losing out to the Isle of Wight Warriors 48-42 at the Smallbrook Stadium on Thursday night.

The Potters led the meeting for most of the night before falling short in the final three races, but despite the Warriors victory the Potters do bring home a league point for losing by just 6-points.

Heat three saw the Potters take the lead with a 5-1 advantage from Joe Lawlor and Luke Priest over Danno Verge and Ryan Terry-Daley to put the visitor’s fours points up after the opening two races were drawn heats.

A couple of further drawn races saw the A.R. Richards Potters maintain their lead until heat six saw home pairing Georgie Wood and Chris Widman gain a 4-2 heat advantage over Connor Coles and Arran Butcher, heat seven saw a drawn heat with home rider Ben Morley taking victory from Lawlor and Priest with the Potters leading at the midway point of the meeting 22-20.
The Potters extended their lead in the eighth heat with a 4-2 from Shelby Rutherford who took the chequered flag from Chad Wirtzfeld with Joe Alcock taking third place but it was so nearly a 5-1 for the visitors as Wirtzfeld went around Alcock on the final turn to restore the Potters lead to 4-points.

The warriors reduced the deficit in the following race as they return the compliment with a 4-2 of their own as Terry-Daley held out Coles with Verge in third place, Coles getting the better of Verge on the line leaving the visitors leading 28-26. The Isle of Wight drew level after eleven heats with a 4-2 from Morley and Connor King over Potters skipper Tom Perry leaving things tied at 33-33 with four heats remaining.

Stoke edged back in front with Potters manager Adam Isherwood replacing Arran Butcher with Joe Alcock and the move worked as Lawlor took the victory from Terry-Daley with Alcock taking third place for a Potters 4-2 heat advantage as the Potters lead 37-35.

The Warriors went in front with a maximum 5-1 from Wood and Morley over Coles with the two home riders maintaining their unbeaten run leaving the Potters trailing 40-38 with two races remaining. In the final heat of the night the Wood and Morley combination sealed victory for the Warriors with a second 5-1 in three races with Perry all over Morley but just couldn’t find a way through.

Team manager Adam Isherwood commented “It was a good solid performance by us with everyone in the team contributing and we rode as a team. It’s disappointing to have come away with a defeat after leading for most of the meeting but Georgie Wood and Ben Morley were just unbeatable for the home team in the end and their two 5-1 advantages swung the match in their favour. We are pleased we have come away from the meeting with a point at least we have come away with something from the meeting.”

ISLE OF WIGHT 48: Georgie Wood 15, Ben Morley 13+2, Danno Verge 7, Ryan Terry-Daley 6+1, Connor King 4, Chad Wirtzfeld 2, Chris Widman 1
STOKE 42: Joe Lawlor 10, Tom Perry 8, Connor Coles 7, Luke Priest 6+3, Joe Alcock 6+2, Shelby Rutherford 4+1, Arran Butcher 1+1