Tuesday April 03, 2012
ADAM Roynon produced a true captain’s ride in the final race to settle a terrific opening-night Staffs Cup contest in the Heathens’ favour.

Dudley led by two points going into Heat 15 and faced the Stoke big guns of Richie Worrall and Ashley Birks, but Roynon completed a brilliant performance by blocking Worrall’s outside run off the second bend and racing clear to victory.

And a very impressive Tom Perry also did his bit by moving inside Birks midway through the race meaning Heathens will take a four-point advantage into the second leg at Loomer Road on April 14.

Heathens saw their early six-point advantage clawed back by a Stoke side who also had a lively reserve in Ben Reade, but the home side weren’t helped by two uncharacteristic falls on the first bend by Ashley Morris.

And debutant Dan Greenwood was also out of luck in Heat 8 as he fell under Reade’s challenge and also brought down Jaimie Pickard, with the Potters levelling the scores in the re-run.

It stayed that way until a trading of 4-2s in Heats 12 and 13, Roynon dropping his only points in the latter, but Byron Bekker – who enjoyed a solid debut – took a vital win in Heat 14 with Darryl Ritchings collecting third place to put the Heathens back in front, and Roynon and Perry delighted the large home support with their advantage in the decider.

Manager Will Pottinger said: “We’re very pleased to get a win in our opening meeting against a strong side, and it was a great performance in Heat 15 by Adam and Tom.

“I thought there were plenty of encouraging signs, obviously we had a few problems such as Ash coming off twice, and the new boys will take a bit of time to settle in, but there’s plenty to work with and overall it was a positive night.”

HEATHENS 47: Adam Roynon 14, Tom Perry 12, Byron Bekker 8+3, Darryl Ritchings 6+1, Dan Greenwood 3, James White-Williams 2, Ashley Morris 2.

STOKE 43: Richie Worrall 12+1, Ben Reade 10+1, Tony Atkin 7+1, Ashley Birks 6, Jaimie Pickard 4+1, Oliver Greenwood 4+1, Dan Berwick 0.

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