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  • Rob Dyer

Match Result - Potters 32 v Warriors 27 (NL)

The Warriors returned south from their National League fixture at Stoke on Saturday night with a valuable league point despite the challenging conditions presented by the Loomer Road track - thirteen falls in ten completed races and three riders withdrawn through injury and illness in the first seven races clearly tells its own story.

Heat one was an indication of things to come as first Potters Paul Burnett fell on bend four, lap one. The race was stopped, Burnett disqualified and then withdrawn with an ankle injury. In the three rider restart, Stoke number one Max Clegg touched the tapes and was given a fifteen metre starting handicap. Third time of asking Warriors number one Ben Morley was leading when he too failed to negotiate bend four, falling and being disqualified. Fourth restart, a match race with Verge at the tapes and Clegg on his handicap, Clegg fought his way to the front before Verge fell on the last corner and bravely pushed home for two points. The Warrior was clearly struggling and he too was withdrawn suffering from dizziness.

As the meeting continued the number of falls climbed and Scott Campos was the next casualty as he too fell foul of a treacherous fourth bend. The paramedic ruled Campos unfit to continue as a result of a blow to the back, much to the Warriors disappointment as he wanted to carry on. Despite the problems, Warriors were still on the coat tails of the home side thanks in no small measure to new recruit Alfie Bowtell whose electric starts had earned him three convincing wins.

Matters came to a head in heat eleven as three riders fell simultaneously on the first turn and the referee undertook a track inspection. As the Stoke promotion felt unable to rectify the track issues, the referee had l