STOKE 31 HITMEN 28 - MATCH REPORT

Friday October 27, 2017
BUXTON lost out in their final Travel Plus National League meeting of the season as they slipped to a 31-28 defeat against Stoke at Loomer Road on Friday night.

The Hitmen’s efforts were rewarded though as they brought back a point from their travel which virtually guaranteed the club could not finish bottom unless the Isle of Wight gained all four points at Mildenhall on Sunday.

The Hitmen went behind in the opening heat but hit back immediately with a 4-2 from guest Alex Spooner and Lee Geary over former Hitman Paul Burnett to level the scores at 6-6. Stoke edged in front once again with a 4-2 from their impressive number one Mitchell Davey who went through the card unbeaten and Burnett and again the Buxton men struck back as skipper Tom Woolley got the better of Lee Dicken with Geary taking third place.

Heat eight saw Alex Spooner disqualified after he fell and in the rerun the Hitmen lost Shelby Rutherford after he was caught by Burnett with Rutherford going in hard enough to move the red light wiring behind the safety fence and put the stadium into darkness. Rutherford was transferred to the Royal Stoke Hospital with a back injury. Geary took Rutherford’s place in the rerun but Potter David Wallinger kept Geary at bay for a Potters 3-2 to put them in front 24-23 after eight heats.

With time running out referee Darren Hartley spoke to all three team managers with it being a double header meeting and all agreed to run the meetings to ten heats.

Heat nine saw Hitman Max Clegg show his class as he took a very comfortable victory over Wallinger and home skipper Tony Atkin for a drawn heat and it was the Potters that had the final say with a 4-2 from Davey and Burnett over recently married Woolley for a 4-2 leaving the Hitmen with a point to bring home to Hi-Edge.

Assistant team manager Josh Moss covering for the holidaying Jason Pipe commented “All the team performed well on what was a tricky track because of the weather and I’m delighted that we have come away with a point from the meeting, every one of the lads got amongst the points and it was really good to see. Our thought’s go out to Shelby (Rutherford) and we wish him a speedy recovery. It’s never nice seeing a rider crash out especially during the last meeting of the season.”

STOKE 31: Mitchell Davey 9, Tony Atkin 7+1, David Wallinger 5, Lee Dicken 5, Paul Burnett 5, Joe Alcock 0, Ryan Terry-Daley r/r.
BUXTON 28: Tom Woolley 7, Max Clegg 7, Lee Geary 5+1, Alex Spooner 4+1, Ben Hopwood 4, Shelby Rutherford 1+1, Ryan Kinsley r/r.