Sunday June 05, 2011
When the Dudley Heathens and Buxton Hitmen meet you always know you are going to be treated to an exciting day out.

The teams are well known for their rivalry and Sunday’s meeting was no different.

The racing started with Dudley taking the lead in the first two heats but a 5-1 from Hitmen riders Luke Priest and Dean Felton got the score level in heat three. A win for team captain Adam Allott in heat four kept it that way. Then due to a spectacular crash by Priest in heat five the racing was delayed as fence repairs were undertaken. From the re-run the Heathens started to take charge of the meeting with the Hitmen racing hard to claw back the points which were starting to run away from their favour. A tactical from Allott in heat thirteen and a fantastic 5-1 from Priest and Paul Burnett in fourteen got the Hitmen back in the game. Then the excitement came to a head in heat fifteen as Ashley Morris was excluded on the line for delaying the start. The heat was then called back several times due to unsatisfactory starts. One neutral party watching the meeting commented “wow there’s more drama here than there is in Coronation Street!” He couldn’t have been more right as in the next re-run Jason Garrity fell and was excluded. In the final re-run between just two riders the two team captains Adam Allott and Jon Armstrong the heat was certainly on and it was a heat win for Buxton as it eventually came to an end. Credit has to be given to Armstrong too as he had been a superb rider all afternoon. The final score of 44-47 meant the Hitmen took no points from this meeting but the Heathens only got away with three.

Team Manager Jack Lee spoke after the meeting “We fought really hard today we knew we were going to be up against it without Robert Branford and to go down by just three points was a really good effort from the lads. Adam Allott was in a class of his own for us today he scored a massive 18 points which was great. It was a shame Luke Priest had a really nasty crash where his bike went completely through the safety fence and he was covered in cuts and bruises afterwards, he did well to come back and ride after that and to win a race aswell was fantastic. With a bit of luck if Luke had been in full fettle for the last few races we may have done better but as it was it was a tight match and we expected that and Dudley came here and did what they did and beat us. I think had we had a full team today we would have held our own and probably taken the points ourselves. We have not had a good start in the league campaign but this was our first home meeting, unfortunately we missed out by just three points but it’s a long season and we still have time to come back and get into the playoffs. It’s been hard for the lads not having any home meetings since the 1st of May so coming here today is a bit like coming to a strange track again, it’s easier when you are riding at home every week but that’s the way the fixtures have landed this time and its unfortunate. We have a run of home fixtures coming up soon though so hopefully we can start putting some points on the board and moving up the league where we belong.”

Team Captain Adam Allot also spoke on how hard it is after a long break in fixtures especially with a new team;

“We have had a bit of time off and its hard as obviously the more you race the more sharper your reactions are and it’s taken us the last few meetings to get going again. It’s been hard here today as Dudley are one of the best teams in the league and to get the score we got was a good achievement especially with not having Rob. It was pretty much a brand new team this year apart from myself and Rob so it’s taken us a while to get to know each other but we have started to get on now and we are working out where we all ride on the track and everything and so we have just started to go good again. There are plenty more meetings to do this season we just need to get Paul and Ryan on the gas and once they are going we should be fine.”

There are no fixtures for the Hitmen this week but there will be an Under 16’s event on Sunday at Buxton. The Hitmen are back in home action on Sunday June the 19th against Manchester team The Belle Vue Colts.


Buxton Hitmen 44: Adam Allott 18, Luke Priest 9+1, Jason Garrity 8+1, Dean Felton 4+1, Paul Burnett 3+1, Ryan Blacklock 2, Robert Branford R/R.

Dudley Heathens 47: Jon Armstrong 15+1, Ashley Morris 10, Richard Franklin 7+1, Tom Perry 6+2, Darryl Ritchings 5, Danny Stoneman 4+1, Kyle Newman R/R.