Sunday August 09, 2015
The Hitmen gave the High Flying Eastbourne Eagles the fright of their season so far by powering to a 7 point lead at the half way point of this National League fixture.

On a tricky track that the visitors took to much better than their home counterparts they stormed to an early lead. That lead was to last until heat 13 when the Eagles snatched it back at a vital point in the meeting.

This was an historic first ever visit for the Dalesmen to Arlington Stadium and all bar Tony Atkin, who last saw the track in 1996 riding for Bradford, it was their first ever view of the Sussex Track. In particular popular Cumbrian Ryan Blacklock found the circuit to his liking winning his first two rides on his way to top scoring with 11.

‘I loved it out there – it was a bit rough for sure but I’m an ex-moto crosser and I made the most of that experience’ said Blacklock.

Team Boss Jason Pipe was frustrated by the whole experience ‘If I’m honest I didn’t think we would get anything out of today, but after that performance I find myself shaking my head and wondering how we have let it slip. After the interval the track slickened off and we just didn’t cope with it losing the last 4 heats by 19-5. We need to know how to vary set-ups later in a meeting we were very much second-best at the end of that one.’

The Hitmen were haunted by one of their ex-riders in Ben Hopwood who was replaced at Hi-Edge following injury earlier this year completed a heat 13 and 15 double to leave Buxton without even a league point for their trouble.

‘You have to give the lads credit they hadn’t ridden here before and did really well. It was a solid team performance and on another day we would have taken at least a point. It does set us up for a meeting tomorrow in Kent when I would hope to take at least 3 league points from. I’ve learned a lot more about the team today and they deserve credit.’

The second part of the Hitmen’s mini Southern tour is at Kent Kings in Sittingbourne tomorrow (Monday).

Racing returns to Hi-Edge Buxton on Sunday 16th August when runaway league leaders the Birmingham Brummies.

EASTBOURNE 49: Marc Owen 14, Bradley Wilson-Dean 13+2, Ben Hopwood 10, Matt Bates 8+3, Kelsey Dugard 3, Niall Strudwick 1, Charlie Powell (no.8) 0, Georgie Wood r/r.

BUXTON 40: Ryan Blacklock 11, Liam Carr 7, Tony Atkin 7, Tom Woolley 5+2, David Holt 4+2, Steven Jones 3+1, David Speight 3.

League points Eastbourne 3 Buxton 0