BATTERED and bruised Stoke Easy Rider Potters overcame the odds to pick up the bonus point from a 49-44 defeat at Berwick on Saturday.
Already using rider replacement for the injured Robbie Kessler, the Potters lost Paul Clews with a leg injury whilst Barrie Evans, who was involved in the same heat-six crash, continued despite picking up a shoulder injury.
Manager John Adams said: 'Under the circumstances, it was a first-rate effort. Had we got anything like a full team, we might well have got the win as well.
'To go down to five riders so early and still run them to within a few points speaks volumes for the character of the side. If we carry on in that vein, we'll pick up more points on the road.
'Mark Lemon was head and shoulders above anyone, though the rider who caught the eye was Trent Leverington. It came good for Trent on Saturday and hope-fully he can build on that.'
Meanwhile, the Stoke SAS Spitfires won 45-46 at Buxton on Sunday afternoon to complete a double over their near neighbours and take all three points on offer.
They also went in to the meeting at Buxton a man short. Scott Courtney, who had a nightmare meeting in the 45-45 draw against Mildenhall on Wednesday due to three engine failures, pulled out with a wrist injury.
Promoter Dave Tattum said: 'This meeting mirrored the Berwick one in many ways in the sense that John Branney and Sam Dore took knocks.
'It was close throughout but we got a 5-1 from Adam Allott and Ben Barker in the last to secure the win by the narrowest of margins and hopefully put us in contention for the play-offs.'
The Easy Rider Potters travel to Redcar tomorrow and then host Newcastle at Loomer Road on Saturday (7.30pm). The Spitfires travel to Scunthorpe on Sunday for the first leg of the KO Cup.
The fund for injured rider Luke Priest has passed the £2,500 mark. The 21-year-old Stoke Spitfires star suffered a broken wrist, elbow and pelvis and internal organ damage in an accident at Loomer Road recently.
Collection organiser Ian Lewsey said: 'Luke is improving, but very slowly. He still faces a number of operations and will need a lot of support over the difficult weeks and months ahead.'
Donations can be made via www.focuscommunications.co.uk, or by post to: The Luke Priest Fund, c/o 7 Chatham Way, Haslington, Crewe, CW1 5NU.