Sunday September 02, 2018
IT was so near yet so far for the Buxton Hitmen as they were defeated 49-41 by the Isle of Wight Warriors in the Travel Plus National League at Hi-Edge Raceway on Sunday afternoon.

The Hitmen were left to rue several falls and engine failures while in points scoring positions while the Hitmen’s top four all scored well with Max Clegg topping the scoring chart with 12 points, skipper Tom Woolley 10+2, Connor Coles 9+1 and Ben Wilson 7 points as the quartet kept the scores close between the sides with the visitors relying heavily on Ben Morley 14, Alfie Bowtell 13+1 and Danno Verge who scored 9 points.

The Hitmen fell behind in the opening heat as Bowtell and Verge took a 4-2 over Wilson as Sam Woolley suffered mechanical gremlins which also followed up in the following race as Corban Pavitt took his first win in Buxton’s colours ahead of Dale Lamb and Shaun Tedham. The Hitmen levelled the scores in the next race with a 4-2 from Coles and Tom Woolley over Verge, but it was the Warriors who regained the lead in the following race with a 4-2 from Morley and Tedham over Clegg leaving the Hitmen trailing 13-11 after the opening four heats.

A couple of 4-2 advantages for the Warrior in the next four heats extended their lead to six points with Buxton trailing 27-21. The hitmen continued to battle away and in heat eleven Sam Woolley was excluded for falling while under pressure from Tedham which result with a 4-2 for the Warriors in the rerun as Bowtell held Clegg as bay with Tedham taking third. In the following heat Coles took the lead with Pavitt taking both Chris Widman and Lamb as the Hitmen were on for a 5-1 only for Pavitt’s throttle to stick open and he put the bike down and was excluded from the rerun which resulted in another drawn heat. The same went for heat 13 as it proved to be one of the races of the afternoon as Clegg shot out of the gate and was pursued for the 4 laps by Morley and Bowtell, with Clegg holding on to take the chequered flag and prevent either of the two visitors going home with maximums.

The two final races again saw the races end in 3-3 drawn races as the home side were unable to land a blow on the Warriors lead.

Team manager Joshua Moss said “I’m going to be honest this is the first meeting I’ve actually come to thinking that we have a chance to actually pick up some points, but you have to give the Isle of Wight credit they have two really good what are effectively two number one’s who have only dropped a couple of points and in the case of Alfie Bowtell were only beaten by Max Clegg around here this afternoon. Today showed we have shown what we can do when we have a strong team out. Covering James (Cockle) with rider replacement was always going to be hard and while you can cover some of the races you lose that option in heat fifteen. Overall though there are a lot of positives to take from today, we’ve been in a meeting and we have not disgraced ourselves and we perhaps are being to hard on ourselves because we feel it is a meeting we could have won but that is the way it goes in sport. We’ve had no luck all year and today Sam Woolley has had a couple of bikes issues and had to go out on his brother Tom’s but the bikes are not set-up the same, we threw away points in heat two and twelve and you just have to take it on the chin and deal with it and another day hopefully soon we will get some points we don’t deserve and may possibly scrape a win.”

BUXTON 41: Max Clegg 12, Tom Woolley 10+2, Connor Coles 9+1, Ben Wilson 7, Corban Pavitt 3, Sam Woolley 0, Lewis Whitmore r/r.
ISLE OF WIGHT 49: Ben Morley 14, Alfie Bowtell 13+1, Danno Verge 9, Shaun Tedham 5+2, Dale Lamb 5, Chris Widman 3+3, Scott Campos r/r.