Saturday May 07, 2011
The rain came to the rescue on Saturday night for the Buxton Hitmen at the second leg of the Knockout Cup away at Stoke.

The meeting got off to a late start due to power failures at the stadium, when it finally got underway the Potter’s were clearly ready for action and got four successive 5-1’s in the bag before the two Hitmen Richie Worrall, who was guesting for the injured Ben Taylor and Luke Priest rode out ready to claw back the points in an exciting heat 5.

Unfortunately due to the heavy rain affecting the track conditions the hard riding between Priest and Stoke rider Gareth Isherwood ended with the latter finishing up in the air fence. The race came to a stop, however before there was a re-run the persistent heavy rain meant the meeting was called to a close and will have to be restaged. The Hitmen who were without two of their top riders on the night were always going to struggle against such a strong team like Stoke. The Hitmen number one rider Ben Taylor suffered ligament damage to his leg on Monday night at Newport and will be out of speedway action for the next couple of weeks. Buxton’s other top scorer Robert Branford who also rides for premier league club Redcar was unable to race on the night due to a fixture at Leicester.

The momentum was low in the pits after the meeting but Hitmen Promoter Jayne Moss said “we really need to take tonight as a lesson, we are lucky to have a second shot at this and we are going to have to get our heads together and sort out the problems which are losing us the points” Team manager Jack Lee said “we were spoilt last year with the three trophies and the winning team we had but this is a new season and we have lads who are capable of getting in the big points they just need to start doing it before it’s too late”. The score was Stoke 20 Buxton 4 before the meeting was abandoned; there as yet is no restaging date.

The Hitmen have two league meetings this week, first they are off to Kings Lynn on Wednesday, a track which they had great success at the end of last season with. Richie Worrall will again be the guest rider in place of Taylor and Robert Branford should be back in the team. Then it’s a home meeting against Newport on Sunday. The Buxton Hitmen are hoping to get back to their winning ways and they can count their lucky stars that they get a second chance at defending their knockout cup title.

Results (these will not stand as meeting has to be re-run):

Stoke Potters 20: Simon Lambert 3, Jamie Pickard 2+1, Gareth Isherwood 3, Tony Atkin 2+1, Tim Webster 3, Ben Reade 2+1, James Sargeant 5+1.

Buxton Hitmen 4: Richie Worrall 1, Robert Branford R/R, Luke Priest 1, Dean Felton 0, Adam Allott 1, John McPhail 0, Ryan Blacklock 1.