HITMEN 30 STOKE 64

Sunday May 04, 2014
It was a triumph for experience over exuberance as Stoke Potters claimed all four league points in the curtain raiser to the 2014 league season at Hi Edge.

Not even a double point return from Tony Atkin and a useful 6 point return from Tom Woolley could halt the visitors charge. It was testament to the strength in depth of the Potters that they did not register a last place all afternoon.

Buxton's cause was not helped following an injury sustained by skipper Liam Carr in heat 11 following a broken chain whilst leading. The previously unbeaten Carr, including a 6 point tactical haul in heat 6 was excluded and retired in his last ride. "I was already carrying a foot injury from the meeting at Berwick last night – I feel distinctly second hand," remarked the likable teenager.

Buxton team manager Jayne Moss paid tribute to her inexperienced team: "You can see an improvement even since the Cradley meeting, Stoke are a very experienced team and it was always going to be a tough but there is cause for optimism for the matches to come."

New trio Sean Phillips, Stefan Farnaby and Adam Extrance still looked to be finding their feet and Ryan Blacklock struggled with machine problems throughout the meeting.

Stoke’s newly crowned Bronze Helmet holder Ben Wilson also successfully defended his title against Tony Atkin.

BUXTON 30: Tony Atkin 10, Liam Carr 9, Tom Woolley 6, Ryan Blacklock 3, Adam Extance 2, Sean Phillips 0, Stefan Farnaby 0.

STOKE 64: Jon Armstrong 14, Ben Hopwood 12+1, Chris Widman 10+2, Ben Wilson 9+1, James McBain 8+3, Lee Payne 6+2, Rob Shuttleworth 5+1.