Hammers boost their play-off hopes by completing a perfect series of ten victories on their own circuit
3 September 2017 Local Sport
Stoke Potters were unable to break Lakeside’s home domination as they went down 57-32 at the Arena-Essex Raceway on Sunday.
The Hammers boosted their play-off hopes by completing a perfect series of ten victories on their own circuit in a meeting where the A.R.Richards Ltd Potters managed just one race win.
The home side have based their strength this season around a super-strong heat-leader trio, and once again they had control of that department with Ben Morley, Paul Hurry and guest Luke Bowen all in imperious form.
Bowen and Morley both recorded five-ride paid maximums whilst Hurry reeled off four wins out of four for a 12-point full house, as the Hammers covered well for the absences of Zach Wajtknecht and Alfie Bowtell.
That meant it was a tough day for the Potters, who had to wait until Heat 14 for their sole success when Luke Priest took the flag ahead of Lakeside guest Matt Bates and reserve Jamie Couzins.
The visitors also suffered a series of falls as they looked to adapt to the circuit, with Ryan Terry-Daley coming to grief in Heat 2 – whilst both Mitchell Davey and Paul Burnett came down in Heat 5, with Davey being disqualified.
The re-run saw the Hammers notch their first 5-1 of the meeting through Hurry and Bates, and they moved 13-points clear with maximum points in Heat 8 when Shaun Tedham fell when looking to get the better of Connor Locke.
Terry-Daley did well to split Hurry and Bates in Heat 9 as the Potters avoided major damage before a not-unexpected 5-1 from Morley and Bowen in Heat 13.
Priest’s win in Heat 14 gave Stoke some respite, but he also hit the deck on the last bend in Heat 15 as Bowen and Morley completed their unbeaten shows with a 5-1 over Davey.
Stoke assistant boss Adam Isherwood said: “It’s always very difficult coming here, as so many teams have found this season, with several of the riders never having raced here before.
“The home riders were dialled in perfectly to what’s a specialist circuit and whilst obviously we wanted to get closer, it’s not a result we can afford to dwell on.
“We still have some important matches to come at home, we want to finish as high up the table as we can, and the performance against Mildenhall on Saturday shows we can beat good sides around our own track.”
Next up for the Potters is a big home clash with play-off chasing Kent this Saturday (September 9) at Loomer Road.
LAKESIDE 57: Luke Bowen 14+1, Ben Morley 14+1, Paul Hurry 12, Matt Bates 6+1, Jamie Couzins 5+1, Nick Laurence 4, Connor Locke 2+1.
STOKE 32: Luke Priest 8+1, Mitchell Davey 6, Tony Atkin 5+1, Ryan Terry-Daley 5+1, Lee Dicken 3+1, Shaun Tedham 3+1, Paul Burnett 2.