Stoke Potters back to winning ways against Isle of Wight in speedway National League

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Stoke claimed a 54-33 victory over the Isle of Wight in the Travel Plus National League at Loomer Road on Saturday night.

Riders Ben Wilson and Tony Atkin led the way, recording 15-point maximums, and they were supported by Paul Burnett who finished on 9+2.

The Potters started well, racing to a 14-4 lead in the opening three heats. Former Stoke rider James Cockle won heat four, as Burnett managed to split the Isle of Wight Warriors pairing, before Layne Cupitt took third place as Ben Hopwood suffered engine failure at the starting gate.

Heat six saw Hopwood and Ben Wilson gain a 4-2 lead over Cockle, as the Potters edged into a maximum 5-1 heat win from captain Tony Atkin and Burnett over Cupitt, giving Stoke a 31-17 lead after eight heats.

In a dramatic heat 11, the Potters gained a further heat advantage. Warriors number one Mark Baseby was disqualified for going on the infield, and then delaying the start after he refused to go off the 15 metre mark.

Sam Woods was then disqualified for falling, and then Hopwood suffered a further mechanical failure, resulting in Chris Hay as the only finisher for a 3-0 heat advantage.

Stoke secured their first win since July with maximum points in heat 12, as Atkin and Burnett took the win ahead of Nathan Stoneman.

Potters team manager Malcolm Vasey commented: “It was an all round team performance with everyone chipping in with at least a paid win.

“Ben (Hopwood) suffered some mechanical gremlins but still scored some important points and it was pleasing to see both Tony (Atkin) and Ben (Wilson) record maximums on the night.

“Paul Burnett had a very good evening as did Chris Hay and it shows what we could do, should we all fire on the same night.

“I now hope we can continue tonight’s form in to our remaining matches and give our supporters something to smile about.”

Team line-ups

STOKE 54: Ben Wilson 15, Tony Atkin 15, Paul Burnett 9+2, Chris Hay 6, Shaun Tedham 5+3, Ben Hopwood 4, Danny Phillips R/R.
ISLE OF WIGHT 33: James Cockle 11, Sam Woods 7+2, Chris Widman 6, Mark Baseby 4+2, Nathan Stoneman 3+1, Layne Cupitt 2, Lee Smart R/R.

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