HITMEN 44 DUDLEY 46 - REPORT

Sunday April 24, 2011
The Hitmen and Heathen battle for silverware continued this week as The Buxton team took on last season’s main rivals for the National Shield competition.

The Hitmen travelled to Wolverhampton’s Monmore Green stadium on Tuesday for leg one of the competition against the Dudley team and initially the scores were close with two points between them, however the second half of the meeting saw Dudley take control and lead the Heathens to a healthy victory of 53-37 and a sixteen point advantage for the second leg on Sunday at Hi-Edge.

The Heathens clearly out for revenge after the Buxton side took all three trophies out of their favour at the end of last season arrived at the Buxton track on Sunday with an army of fans.

Again the meeting started much like it had on Tuesday with two points between the Heathens and Hitmen then the Hitmen caught up in heat five and managed to keep the score level for three heats until a 4-2 for the heathens in heat eight saw them regain the lead.

The Hitmen battled on trying to gain control of the meeting however by heat thirteen it was obvious that the Dudley team were going to go home with the silverware. Though this didn’t stop the Buxton side from trying to win the meeting unfortunately this week luck wasn’t on their side and the points stayed 2 apart for the rest of the meeting.

A 5-1 for the Hitmen duo of Robert Branford and Adam Allott in heat fifteen saw the final score 44-46 a good representation of how close the meeting had been throughout the day.

The aggregate score from both legs is 99-81.

Hitmen team manager Jack Lee speaking after the meeting said, "It was a shame we hadn’t won another piece of silverware for the collection but it’s early on in the season and it was always going to be a tough ask against a strong Dudley Team.

"With the Heathens having a rider like Adam Roynon who is currently riding all three leagues, for our lads to keep the score as close as they did wasn’t too disappointing.

"Had this been a league match we would have got a point from this meeting. We have a strong top five and at the moment are only weak in our two reserves due to their little speedway experience, however with more racing under their belts Ryan and John will come good and hopefully start getting the points in and the Hitmen will once again be back to their winning ways."

The Hitmen are next in home action on Sunday 1st May as Buxton take on local team Stoke for the first leg of the Knock Out Cup.

Stoke have dropped down to the National League from Premier for this season’s campaign and the meeting promises to be a good days racing. Racing starts at 3pm.

Buxton Hitmen: Ben Taylor 8, Dean Felton 5+2, Luke Priest 6+2, Robert Branford 13, Adam Allott 10+1, Ryan Blacklock 0, John McPhail 2+1.

Dudley Heathens: Byron Bekker 8, Richard Franklin 6+1, Tom Perry 6+1, Ashley Morris 7, Adam Roynon 11+1, Darryl Ritchings 3+2, Luke Chessell 5+1.