STOKE 44 HITMEN 45

Sunday May 10, 2015
There is an old adage in sport that you can only beat what is in front of you and according to Team Manager Jason Pipe the Hitmen won this National League encounter by using their heads.

On a tricky track the home side were reduced to just 5 riders when two separate incidents in Heat 2 left them without either reserve. ‘Sure we benefitted from Stoke’s misfortune in heat two but during the season these things have a habit of evening themselves out and lets not take anything away from my team today, they rode sensibly and dealt with the conditions’

The meeting turned on that second heat when first Ryan MacDonald and the Shaun Tedham suffered injuries for the Potters. That led to David Holt, who had his best ever meeting at National League Level and Ben Basford landing a 5-0 result. In the following heat Ben Hopwood showed his liking for the Loomer road circuit by extending the Hitmen’s lead. This was a lead they held until heat 9 when successive 4-2s put the home side in front. The final turning point came in heat 12 when Manager Pipe replaced Basford with Holt who paired up with an ‘out-of-sorts’ Adam Extance to register a telling maximum win.

The destination of the league points however was in doubt until Heat 15 when the home side’s strongest pairing Armstrong and Payne faced Hitmen Skipper Tony Atkin and on form Hopwood. It was a hard first bend Armstrong and Hopwood tangled with the visitor coming off worst when he ended up in the Air Fence. Referee Peter Clarke adjudged it an unsatisfactory start however Hopwood sustained a broken scaphoid and was replaced by Ryan Blacklock in a rerun where the evergreen Atkin grabbed the second place that was needed to secure the Hitmen’s first away win for nearly two years.

‘Every point mattered today and I’m very proud of all the Buxton riders. Unfortunately we have that injury to Ben which looks like keeping him out for a while just when he has scored the points return I was looking for, I will be speaking to Jayne Moss this week to discuss just how we cover for him. I’d like to wish Ben and the two Stoke guys a speedy recovery’ concluded a jubilant Pipe.

The Hitmen now have a two week break until their next fixture against Mildenhall and have re-arranged their postponed meeting with Cradley for Sunday 31st May.

STOKE 44: Jon Armstrong 12+1, Lee Payne 12, Chris Widman 8, Danny Phillips 7, Ryan Terry-Daley 5+1, Ryan MacDonald 0, Shaun Tedham 0.

BUXTON 45: Tony Atkin 11, Ben Hopwood 10, David Holt 8+3, Ryan Blacklock 6+1, Adam Extance 5+1, Tom Woolley 3+1, Ben Basford 2+1.

National League Match points Stoke 0 Buxton 3