BIRMINGHAM 52 HITMEN 39

Wednesday June 03, 2015
A quick glance at the score line and you could be excused for thinking this meeting was a routine Victory for the Table-Topping Birmingham Brummies but it was far from that. Considering only Tony Atkin of the visiting Hitmen had seen the track before they gave a really good account of themselves.

Birmingham provided the winners for five of the first seven heats but Buxton kept in touch by packing the minor placings and a heat advantage in heat 5 when the veteran Tony Atkin inflicted the only defeat of the meeting on home reserve Zach Wajtknecht. The 17 year old has caused a real sensation in his first few outings in the National League and remains the Bronze Helmet Match Race holder.
The Hitmen’s second victory came in Heat 8 when a back-to-form Tom Woolley took the chequered flag. There was however a turning point in heat 10 when the visitors lost Ryan Blacklock from the match in a fall and the Brummies capitalized by taking Maximum points. This enabled Buxton to use a tactical ride in Heat 11 which they won 5 -3. Extance and Holt then teamed up for a 5-1 in Heat 12 to bring the teams within 4 points of each other. Eventually the Brummies strength in their top order shone through as they finished the meeting 4-2 5-1 5-1.

Buxton Team Manager was philosophical ‘ I don’t think Birmingham were 13 points better than us tonight in fact between heats 5 and 12 we outscored them. The injury to Ryan may have been the difference between us getting a point and not. He didn’t want to pull out but the paramedic has insisted’ We’ve had some to performances tonight Tom Woolley appears to have come through his bad patch with 6 paid 8 and the reserves scoring 7 paid 8 in any normal meeting would be good enough to gain us a point’

He realised they had seen a special performance though ‘Zach Wajtknecht is a very special talent – I remember seeing him a couple of years ago at Northside and thinking he will be good – and he is!)

He summed up by issuing a warning to Buxton’s next opponents at Perry Barr ‘Now all our riders have seen the track we will be that much sharper when we come here to face Cradley next month’

Pipe reported that he expected all of Buxton’s walking wounded to be fit for the trip to King’s Lynn next week. Blacklock was mildly concussed, Bowen complained of an ankle injury and the returning Liam Carr picked up a hand injury following his heat 13 fall.
Wajtknecht successfully defended his Bronze helmet despite a stern challenge from the Hitmen skipper Tony Atkin.

BIRMINGHAM 52: Zach Wajtknecht 16+1, Tom Perry 15+1, Adam Ellis 12, Alex Wilson 5+2, Adam Kirby 2, Harvie Banks 1, Robert Parker 1, Sam Chapman R/R.

BUXTON 39: Tony Atkin 11, Liam Carr 7, Tom Woolley 6+2, Adam Extance 6, David Holt 5+3, Paul Bowen 2, Ryan Blacklock 2.
National League points: Birmingham 3 Buxton 0

BRONZE HELMET
Zach Wajtknecht (Birmingham - holder) beat Tony Atkin (Buxton)
Match Points Brummies 3 Hitmen 0