HITMEN 45 STOKE 44

Sunday May 01, 2011
After last Sunday’s disappointing result the Hitmen this week were ready to hit back and try and get a lead in the first leg of the knockout cup against the Stoke Potters.

The meeting started well with the Hitmen taking the lead. However heat five turned the tables with an unsatisfactory start called by the referee where the Hitmen had advantage, the rerun saw the stoke pairing of Jamie Pickard and guest rider Jason Garrity take a 5-1 which drew the scores level.

Stoke then took their chance and managed to hold a four point lead for the next three races until heat nine saw Buxton’s Luke Priest and Robert Branford get their revenge with a 5-1 to put the scores back on balance. This fired the rest of the team up and the Hitmen managed to start getting the points in.

Heat ten saw another 5-1 for Buxton and a four point lead until the unstoppable ex Hitmen rider Garrity got a couple more heat wins to get stoke just one point behind by heat thirteen.

It looked like heat fifteen would decide the meetings fate but a fall from Garrity and his exclusion meant the re-run would be more in favour of the Buxton side. Stoke's Tim Webster took the win but Hitmen pairing Ben Taylor and Robert Branford took the other three points on offer, which left the end score of 45-44 a bit too close for comfort.

Hitmen team manager Jack Lee said “we should be winning by more than just one point at home so this meeting was a bit too close, however it wasn’t for lack of trying the lads were fired up today but it was dry and dusty and unless you made the gate, passing on the outside was like riding on marbles which is why we saw so many falls and race reruns. Stoke are a strong side and we are going to have to work really hard when we go there for the second leg on Saturday to get a win and go onto the next round of the competition, but we are capable of doing it Luke is an ex Stoke rider and so is Adam. So hopefully we can go there with a positive head on and do the business, as a one point lead isn’t going to be enough.”

The Hitmen head to Stoke for Leg two on Saturday (7th) There is no home meeting on Sunday but the Hitmen are back in home action against the Newport Hornets on May the 15th. The start time as usual is 3pm.

Buxton Hitmen 45: Ben Taylor 11, Dean Felton 5+1, Luke Priest 6+1, Robert Branford12, Adam Allott 5, John McPhail 3+1, Ryan Blacklock 3+1.

Stoke Potters 44: Jason Garrity 11, Jamie Pickard 5+1, Gareth Isherwood 3+1, Tony Atkin 6+1, Tim Webster 10, Ben Reade 3+1, James Sarjeant 6.