Buxton Hitmen ran high-flying Coventry close in their penultimate home meeting of the season.
The visitors, already qualified for the NL play-offs, were never more than five points ahead throughout the course of the contest as Hitmen were narrowly edged out 46-43.
The meeting turned on an incident in heat 12 when Adam Extance was brought down in a chain reaction following an ambitious move from Coventry’s Luke Priest.
The race had been a competitive one with Extance, fellow Hitman Paul Bowen and Priest swapping places a number of times before the crash occurred.
Unfortunately, the incident for which Priest was disqualified resulted in a delay of almost an hour whilst Extance was treated and medical cover was sufficient for the match to continue.
The early heats were littered with complaints by the visitors about the track, resulting in a heat three track inspection by referee Chris Durno. Following a track grade and a delay of around 20 minutes the meeting continued but it was clear some of the visitors were struggling.
By heat six Buxton lead by one point and it was obvious it was going to be no walk-over. The overall lead changed hands no less than 5 times after heat 6 with the visitors shading it by three points in the finish.
The Hitmen would no doubt have tracked both Extance and Tony Atkin in that last heat decider. Extance was flying on his way to his first ever Buxton paid Maximum, while the ever-reliable Atkin was leading from the front as he finished with 15 from his six rides despite a nasty hand injury following a heat 13 crash.
It was also an encouraging debut from Paul Bowen who netted four and a bonus from three completed rides.
BUXTON: Tony Atkin 15, Adam Extance 14+1, Tom Woolley 5+1, Paul Bowen 4+1, Stefan Farnaby 3+1, Ryan Blacklock 2, Liam Carr r/r.
COVENTRY: Dan Greenwood 11+2, Oliver Greenwood 11, Ryan Terry-Daley 7+1, Martin Knuckey 7+1, Luke Priest 6, James Sarjeant 4, Stefan Nielsen r/r.