Sunday 13 May, 2012
STOKE Easy Rider Potters moved in the National League Knock Out Cup semi finals with a 49-40 victory over the Scunthorpe Saints to give the Potters a 91-87 aggregate victory over the Saints.

The Potters were trailing by five points after the first leg at the Eddie Wright raceway last Monday.

Stoke opened brightly with two 4-2 heat advantages in the opening two heats before the Saints gained a 4-2 of tgheir own with Tom Young getting the better of Stoke skipper Tony Atkin with Tommy Fenwick taking third.

It was an eventful heat four with Jaimie Pickard falling at the first time of asking and then Max Clegg doing the same in the rerun. At the third attempt former Spitfire Gary Irving got the better of Ben Reade for a Saints 3-2 heat advantage as the Potters lead 12-11 on the night but trail the Saints 58-54 on aggregate.

Tony Atkin and Rhys Naylor gained a 4-2 in heat five over Ashley Morris to extend the Potters lead with Ashley Birks and Jaimie Pickard doing the same in heat six over Gary Irving to give the Potters a five point lead on the night.

Tom Young and Morris combined for maximum points in heat seven over Reade after Ross Walter had fallen to reduce the deficit on the night to just one point with the Potters leading 21-20 at the midway point of the meeting with the Saints still leading on aggregate 67-63 leaving the tie still nicely poised.

Saints Tommy Fenwick gated first in heat eight but Ben Reade and then Pickard both passed Fenwick to give the Potters a maximum 5-1 heat win Fenwick eventually falling allowing Max Clegg to take third.

The Potters had to wait until heat eleven to extend their lead with another 5-1 race win from Atkin and Reade after race leader Ashley Morris suffered an engine failure off the final turn, Morris then was pushing home the final twenty yards for a point before his team partner Simon Allen past him on the line to take the point much to the disgust of Morris. A further 4-2 for the Potters from the same combination of Atkin and Reade over Young and Fenwick giving the Potters a 41-30 lead with three heats remaining.

Scunthorpe were not done though after they gained a 5-1 from Irving and Morris over Ashley Birks who finished third after touching the tapes at the first staging of the heat resulting in him going off the fifteen metre mark in the rerun as the Saints reduced the deficit to seven points with the Potters leading 42-35 after thirteen heats and on aggregate 84-82.

Ben Reade took the chequered flag in heat fourteen to leave the Potters needing a drawn heat to take victory and move into the semi finals and this was duly done with Birks taking victory from Irving with Atkin taking third for a Stoke 4-2 and a 49-40 victory on aggregate the Potters running out victors 91-87 on aggregate.

Easy Rider Potters team boss Malcolm Vasey commented "That was a hard fought victory over Scunthorpe with things swinging one way and then another. Ben (Reade) again had another superb meeting as did Tony (Atkin) and Ashley (Birks) who all rode well and I'm very pleased that we are through to the semi finals of the cup."

Stoke: 49: Ben Reade 15+1, Tony Atkin 14, Ashley Birks 10+1, Jaimie Pickard 6+1, Rhys Naylor 2+1, Ross Walter 2, Richie Worrall Rider Replacement
Scunthorpe 40: Gary Irving 16, Tom Young 10, Ashley Morris 8+2, Tommy Fenwick 3, Max Clegg 2+1, Simon Allen 1, Steve Worrall Rider Replacement