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Page last updated at 08:10 GMT, Wednesday, 29 June 2011 09:10 UK

Dudley lose to Stoke on aggregate in Knockout Cup semi-final

Speedway

Stoke Potters reached the National League Knockout Cup final despite the Dudley Heathens' 47-43 win at Monmore Green on Tuesday.

The damage had been done at Loomer Road over the weekend, when the Potters built up a 62-32 first-leg advantage, leading to a 105-79 aggregate score.

Potters boss Malcolm Vasey said: "I'm ecstatic on getting to the final."

Heathens boss Will Pottinger added: "I'm proud of all the lads, they've given everything they've got."

Pottinger continued: "We had a nightmare up at Stoke, we were always going to be up against it."

The Potters got off to the best possible start with maximum points from Jamie Pickard and Simon Lambert over Richard Franklin to extend their lead.

Lambert and Pickard combined for their second maximum of the evening in heat five to give the Potters a six-point lead.

There was some tremendous racing and some very good passes, the lads went about their job professionally and completed the victory we all wanted

Stoke Potters boss Malcolm Vasey

The Potters then took their third maximum heat win of the evening in heat eight as Pickard and reserve James Sarjeant - who was racing against his former club - gained the better of Franklin to give Stoke a 27-21 lead at the midway point of the meeting.

But the Heathens struck back to take control of the meeting with a maximum win in heat nine and three successive 4-2 heat victories to take the lead in the match on the night as they attempted to hold on to their unbeaten home record.

The Potters sealed the aggregate victory - and a place in the final - in heat 12 with Dudley leading 38-34, although the Heathens preserved their unbeaten home record in the final heat thanks to a race win from Kyle Newman.

Teenager Newman was Dudley's bright spot on the night with 14 points from his five rides, Ashley Morris chipping in with seven, Jon Armstrong adding six.

We have to take the positives from the Stoke meeting and try and get a result at the Norfolk Arena (in the National League)

Heathens boss Will Pottinger

But the Heathens will have to cope without Newman for Wednesday night's National League trip to King's Lynn as he is needed by his Elite League team Poole. They will use rider replacement to fill in for his rides.

"It's a shame we're without Kyle but we knew this could happen when we signed him, and the experience will do him good," Pottinger stressed.

"It makes it hard for us but we go there with a positive attitude. We have to take the positives from the Stoke meeting and try and get a result at the Norfolk Arena."

Potters boss Vasey praised the standard of competition and his team, adding: "There was some tremendous racing and some very good passes.

"The lads went about their job professionally and completed the victory we all wanted."



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