Monday April 06, 2015
A more experienced Scunthorpe side proved just a little too strong for a Buxton team without Tony Atkin and Ryan Blacklock.

The Hitmen can however take several positives from this spirited performance against senior opposition.

The Visitors were up against it from as early as the third heat when both Cameron Hoskins and Paul Bowen fell, handing the Stags a 5 0. Heat 2 had been a success for MDL-trialist Kev Whelan who, riding his meeting at this level, certainly impressed. Unfortunately it took the Hitmen until heat 8 to register their next race win when Tom Woolley stormed from the gate to record the then fastest time of the meeting, beating the impressive home number 2 Alex Wilson. A resurgent Adam Extance took heat 9 but the Stags led superbly by maximum man Martin Knuckey were not to be denied.

The Hitmen had a few spills when in points scoring positions and towards the end of the meeting were growing in confidence. New boss Jason Pipe admitted to being a little nervous as he took charge of the team for the first time.

‘It wasn’t the result we were looking for but it was a useful exercise in getting to know the boys and for them to blow away the cobwebs ahead of our league campaign. I was particularly impressed with Kev Whelan. It was the first time he had ridden a 15 heat match and he looked right at home, I’m over the moon at him scoring paid 10. The track was a bit tricky and quite heavily watered today but it was invaluable experience as they need to ride all types of surface.’ Said Pipe post-match

He also added praise for other riders ‘I was impressed with Cameron Tom and Adam as the match went on and it was unfortunate that Sam Darroch had a few falls but he will be better for it the next time he rides for us.’

He summed up by saying that the team needed next Sunday’s home visit of Redcar to iron out the last of the creases for the League programme which begins on Sunday 26th April when Coventry Storm come to Hi-Edge.

As for his efforts Whelan said ‘I’ve enjoyed it out there today it’s my first full match and I think I can be proud of that!’ The Edinburgh based youngster can expect to clock up a few miles this season if today’s performance is anything to go by.

SCUNTHORPE STAGS 51:Martin Knuckey 12, Conor Dwyer 11+3, Adam Kirby 11, Alex Wilson 7+1, Sam Chapman 7, Lloyd Ditchburn 3, Bradley Seal 0.

BUXTON 40: Adam Extance 10+1, Kevin Whelan 8+2, Ben Hopwood 8, Tom Woolley 7+2, Paul Bowen 3+1, Cameron Hoskins 3, Sam Darroch 1.