Saturday 22 September, 2012
STOKE Easy Rider Potters went down to a 49-41 defeat against the Rye House Raiders in the National League at Hoddesdon on Saturday night.

The Potters went behind in heat two as Connor Coles and Danno Verge gained a 4-2 heat advantage over Liam Carr after Liam Rumsey had been disqualified in the first running of the heat when he and Coles clashed with Coles and his bike somersaulting into the Hoddesdon safety fence leaving the Potters trailing by two points.

The Potters then struck with two successive 4-2 heat advantages as firstly James Cockle and Ben Reade and then skipper Tony Atkin and Liam Carr put the Potters in front after four heats with a 13-11 lead. Stoke kept the pressure on with a further 4-2 in heat five as they extended their lead to four points as Birks took victory from Morley with Carr third. A series of drawn heats where Potters riders packed the minor placings kept the Potters maintained the Potters lead which went up to six points as James Cockle and Rumsey gained a 4-2 over Coles and Luke Chessell to give the Potters a 27-21 lead after eight races.

The Raiders struck back with a 4-2 from Morley and Shane Hazelden over Atkin and then Jason Garrity and partner Coles gained a maximum 5-1 over Cockle and Reade to level the scores up at 30 all after ten races. The Raiders continued to add the pressure as James Sarjeant took victory in heat eleven from Carr with verge third after Birks fell while in second challenging Sarjeant for the lead as the Raiders lead 34-32 after eleven heats.

The Potters fell further behind in heat thirteen as Garrity and Sarjeant gained a 4-2 over Cockle and Birks to extend their lead to four points. The Raiders secured victory with one race to spare as Hazelden took victory from Reade with Coles holding Carr at bay for a 4-2 race win as the Potters trail 45-39 after fourteen heats.

Jason Garrity and Ben Morley concluded the meeting with a 4-2 race win in the final heat over Tony Atkin after James Cockle had fallen while in second place to give the Raiders all three points.

Easy Rider Potters team manager Malcolm Vasey said “We worked hard throughout the meeting and I feel we should have come out of this meeting with a point. I felt Liam Rumsey was unlucky to be disqualified in heat two when Connor (Coles) came off and we had misfortune with falls to Ashley (Birks) and James (Cockle) who were both in scoring positions at the time. We changed the line up slightly with James slotting in at three and Tony moving to five and it appeared to work for us with both riders hitting double figures and Liam (Carr) also scored some good points for us again tonight. We now look forward to our trip to Midland’s rivals Dudley in Tuesday’s first leg of the league play offs as we look to give what is a very good Heathens side something to think about because we are not going there to just roll over and let them win.”

RYE HOUSE 49: Jason Garrity 14, Connor Coles 10+1, Ben Morley 9, James Sarjeant 7, Shane Hazelden 6, Danno Verge 2, Luke Chessell 1+1.
STOKE 41: Tony Atkin 11, James Cockle 11, Liam Carr 7+1, Ashley Birks 6, Ben Reade 4+1, Liam Rumsey 2+1, Richard Andrews R/R.

Easy Rider Potters number one Ashley Birks successfully defended his Bronze Helmet defeating Raiders rider Ben Morley. Morley was in front for the opening two laps before suffering an engine failure allowing Birks through to retain his title.

Ashley Birks, Holder (Stoke) beat Ben Morley, Challenger (Rye House)