Saturday 29 June, 2019
STOKE gained their second successive home win with a 51-36 victory over local rivals Cradley in the National League at Loomer Road on Saturday night.

On a well-watered track and in front of a healthy crowd the Heathens went in front with a 3-0 heat advantage, firstly Heathens rider Dan Halsey fell while leading with the other three riders all laying their bikes down and in the rerun home rider Luke Priest then fell resulting in him also being excluded. In the third attempt Joe Lawlor was leading when a nail in the wall of his tyre caused the tyre to disintegrate resulting in his chain, mud guard and dirt deflector flying everywhere and hitting Lawlor in the lower back and leg resulting in Luke Harris taking the victory.
The Potters struck back as Connor Coles and Shelby Rutherford gained a 4-2 over Halsey to reduce the deficit to a point for the Potters, but Max Clegg took victory in the next race over Priest with Tom Spencer taking third ahead of Corban Pavitt. Tom Perry and Joe Alcock returned the compliment in heat six with a 4-2 from Kyle Bickley leaving the Potters trailing 16-17 after six races.

Home rider Joe Lawlor was then withdrawn from the meeting as Stoke team manager Adam Isherwood explained “After the crash Joe (Lawlor) was a little sore and went back into the pits to work on his bike, then after a few minutes he was in severe pain and the paramedic was called to attend to him, obviously the adrenalin had calmed down after the fall and he was withdrawn from the meeting.”

Stoke then gained two successive 5-1 heat advantages and a 4-2 to put the Potters into a 33-24 lead. Heathens team manager Chris Van Straaten brought Kyle Bickley in as a guest to partner Max Clegg and the Heathens gated only for Connor Coles to go around Clegg on the second lap and then Bickley on the third lap for a brilliant thirs to first race victory.

A further 5-1 in heat 12 from Rutherford and Priest and a 4-2 in heat 14 from Priest and Pavitt gave the Potters a comfortable win in the end and send the Heathens back to the black country empty handed.

Potters youngster Joe Alcock commented “It is good to get some momentum going which we now have and it’s showing within the whole team which is great. We have a few meetings on the bounce now with Plymouth next Saturday in the Quarter Final, 1st leg of the KO Cup and then the Four team championship and Mildenhall so it’s getting a little bit busier for us. The track was good and I feel we now have a bit of home advantage and it’s now working for us. We are getting into a bit of form and riders are racing regularly which is now showing out there on the track.”

STOKE 51: Connor Coles 12+1, Tom Perry 10+2, Luke Priest 9+2, Shelby Rutherford 9+1, Joe Alcock 7, Corban Pavitt 4, Joe Lawlor 0.
CRADLEY 36: Max Clegg 13+1, Luke Harris 6+1, Kyle Bickley 6, Daniel Halsey 4, Harry McGurk 3, Sheldon Davies 2+1, Tom Spencer 2.