Sunday September 13, 2015
CRADLEY defied their injury crisis to end their National League campaign on a high with a dramatic 40-35 win over Stoke at Loomer Road.

The Heathens were forced to take on the Potters with only five riders having seen Ellis Perks (hand) and Tyler Govier (ankle) both crash out of their clash with Coventry earlier in the day.

Although they drafted in Darryl Ritchings as a guest, they were unable to find a replacement for Govier at short notice - and when Michael Neale was forced to pull out due to a lack of equipment following an earlier crash they were reduced to just four riders.

Matt Williamson and Arron Mogridge plus guesting duo Ben Morley and Ritchings nonetheless fought tirelessly to give them a five point lead before a power failure saw the meeting called to a halt after 13 heats.

Team boss Will Pottinger sung the praises of his severely depleted side after they battled against the odds to earn a tremendous victory ahead of their Gold Cup semi-final first leg against Birmingham on Wednesday.

Pottinger said: "Considering we were practically a four-man team for the whole meeting it was an incredible effort to get the win, and all the lads deserve a lot of credit.

"We had to dig really deep for that win, and it's a fantastic effort given we had to send only one rider out in five races.

"It's been a tough day for us, but it's nice to get a win to end the National League season and give us a bit of confidence before our Gold Cup tie with Birmingham."

Ben Morley and Matt Williamson both suffered just one defeat apiece in the heat-leader positions, whilst Darryl Ritchings also added two race wins from his four rides.

Arron Mogridge fought hard for double figures on a hectic evening as the lone reserve as the Heathens emerged with a remarkable win.

STOKE 35: Lee Payne 11, Paul Burnett 7+1, Ryan Terry-Daley 6+1, Chris Widman 5+1, Danny Phillips 5+1, Shaun Tedham 1+1, Jon Armstrong r/r.

CRADLEY 40: Matt Williamson 12+2, Ben Morley 11, Arron Mogridge 10+2, Darryl Ritchings 7, Michael Neale 0, Ellis Perks r/r, Tyler Govier dnr.

Abandoned after Heat 13 (power failure) - Result stands


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