Sunday October 02, 2016
Birmingham came into town as red hot favourites to win the National League and did nothing during a 15 heat masterclass to prove that wrong despite losing two of their original team prior to the match.

The meeting was not without its controversy and more for Manager Jason Pipe to lose sleep over!

Pipe gave his thoughts post-match ‘Oh dear! I never expected that score-line today. When I arrived at the track and found out that Ritchings and Smith were missing, I really did think we were in with a chance of running them very close and maybe even nicking that win. But it just wasn't to be our day. Bad luck struck us again ! We lost our captain Ryan Blacklock after one ride, with a hand injury, when he came off and slid in to the fence after struggling to hold on to the bike. Raj has lost quite a bit of energy over the weekend having being laid up with flu yesterday and also still wasn't feeling too good today. I did offer Raj the chance of pulling out this morning and bringing in a guest, but he said he would be ok to give it a go. But it just didn't work out for him. David Wallinger was also racing when he shouldn't have been. Davey was ill for most of Saturday and did actually pull out of today's meeting, when he contacted me on Saturday lunch time. But when I then received a phone call from Ryan Burton to say he'd had an accident at work and it was confirmed on a trip to hospital that he suffered a broken big right toe and couldn't walk, that Davey then got back to me and said he'd give it a go today. Fair play to Davey for trying and the same with Raj. We also had Lee Dicken tweak something in his back in his first ride today and he struggled on for 2 more rides after that and then after coming off in his 3rd ride when the track caught him out and damaging his knee, he then had to say enough was enough for today. On a more positive note it was great again to see Shelby Rutherford and Lee Geary getting amongst the points again. If Shelby had been riding all season, like he did in heats 15 this week and last week, he'd had certainly had a much higher average! Both Shelby and Lee ( Geary ) are really enjoying their racing right now and they are more relaxed and it's showing by the points they are getting on the board. Tom Woolley came in as our guest today and started off with 5 from this first 2 rides, then he had an unfortunate last in his 3rd and then had engine problems in his last 2 races.’

Focusing on the last few matches of the season Pipe was in an upbeat mood ‘All we can do is put this result behind us now and start focusing on our 2 meetings at home next week in our double header. I also must apologise to our loyal fans for that poor team performance today. A defeat like that hurts very much and I would not normally tolerate such a heavy defeat, but with another injury and sickness and flu bugs going around, you can understand why today happened. I'm just pleased Birmingham didn't put their full time out today as that scoreline could have been even more embarrassing! We need to regroup and focus on next Sunday's double header at Buxton.’

Once more the Hitmen have been hit with another rider retirement in a season that hasn’t been kind in that respect

‘After the meeting today we were rocked by the news from David Wallinger that he's no longer going to ride this season. It doesn't rain for us this season, it just constantly pours!! Davey has had to stop riding at the moment because of his personal circumstances outside of Speedway that have just recently changed. I'd like to wish Davey all the best and thank him for coming in to the side when he did and helped us out. I'm sure this isn't the last we have seen of Davey on a speedway bike and hopefully sometime I the future we'll see him back on a bike again. Joe Lawlor has agreed to come in at reserve and cover for Davey in our last 4 meetings this season.’
This Sunday sees a 30 heat double header against the Isle of Wight and King’s Lynn – 3.00pm start.

BUXTON 29: Shelby Rutherford 8+1, Lee Geary 8+1, Tom Woolley 6, David Wallinger 3+2, Lee Dicken 3, Sam Woolley (no.8) 1, Ryan Blacklock 0, Ryan Burton r/r.

BIRMINGHAM 61: Jack Parkinson-Blackburn 18+3, Tom Perry 14+1, Tom Bacon 11+1, Luke Priest 11+1, Joe Lawlor 7+1, Stephen Whitehouse 0, Danyon Hume r/r.