Monday 22 July, 2019
STOKE slipped to a 53-37 defeat against Kent in the National League at Central Park on Monday night.

Stoke relied heavily on skipper Tom Perry (12 points), Connor Coles (10+1) and Joe Lawlor who notched 9-points.

The Potters went behind early on with a 5-1 from Nathan Ablitt and Dan Gilkes with James Laker third after Joe Alcock’s cut off came off. It was a strange race for Alcock when at the first time of asking he wasn’t even on the track when the race started with the race being stopped and Alcock allowed to take to the track.
The Potters fell further behind with a 4-2 from home riders Drew Kemp and Gilkes although Connor Coles managed to split the pairing leaving the Potters trailing 15-9 after the opening four heats.
Kent continue to pile on the pressure with the Potters making errors as Joe Lawlor touches the tapes and goes off 15 metres with the Kings taking a 5-1 to extend their lead to 10-points after seven heats as Lawlor finishes third.

Skipper Tom Perry is introduced as a tactical sub in the ninth heat and Stoke team manager Adam Isherwood’s plans pay off as Perry and Coles take the chequered flag for a 5-1 to leave the Potters trailing 30-24 after nine races.
Stoke gain further ground after a series of drawn heats as Kings heat-leader Drew Kemp was leading the eleventh heat before falling on the final lap and going into the fence. SCB referee Chris Durno awards the race with Perry first and Alcock third giving the visitors a 4-2 as the Potters claw another few points back with the home side leading 35-31 with four heats to go.

The Potters then suffered three maximum 5-1 heat reverses as the Kings ended up taking all three points and the Potters returning home empty handed.

Team manager Adam Isherwood said “I’m disappointed not to be bringing a point home which we were on for until the final three races and it’s really disappointing to lose three 5-1’s in the last three heats. Tom (Perry), Connor (Coles) and Joe Lawlor all rode well and did their jobs but unfortunately, we just didn’t have the back-up for them this tonight. We really missed Luke (Priest) tonight he really was a big loss to us and hopefully he will be back for this weekend. James Laker did his best for us tonight and got a couple of points and now we have to regroup for two really important matches against Belle Vue and away to Cradley next Monday.”

KENT 53: Dan Gilkes 13+1, Anders Rowe 11+1, Drew Kemp 10+2, David Wallinger 8+2, Nathan Ablitt 6+2, Jordan Jenkins 5+1, Jake Mulford (no.8) 0, Alex Spooner R/R.
STOKE 37: Tom Perry 12, Connor Coles 10+1, Joe Lawlor 9, Shelby Rutherford 2+1, James Laker 2+1, Joe Alcock 2+1, Luke Priest R/R.