BUXTON Hitmen endured a frustrating first home National League meeting on Sunday against the Isle of Wight Islanders.
Despite leading at one point by eight points, the Hitmen’s visitors turned the tables in heat 12 and gained control of the meeting, eventually winning 50-40.
A disappointed team manager Jack Lee said afterwards: “We nearly had it in the bag, but it just started to go wrong. The track dried out towards the end and the Isle of Wight just came better. They seemed to make better starts and unfortunately they turned it around and instead of them being eight points behind they were in front by ten.
“Unfortunately our number one rider Robert Branford suffered two punctures in two separate races which is unheard of, and Richard Andrews shed a chain and had to push home for a point which is tough. Then a handful of the lads fell and got excluded, so it just went against us.
“We are very disappointed of course. They are not the best team we are going to meet this season and that’s a worry, so we are going have to do a lot of thinking before the next meeting.”
The Hitmen have a double header against Stoke this weekend, with an away fixture on Saturday followed by the return leg at High-Edge on Sunday (3pm start).
Results: Buxton Hitmen, 40: Robert Branford 8, Richard Andrews 1, Luke Priest 6+1, Dean Felton 10+1, Adam McKinna 6+1, Michael Neale 1+1, Ryan Blacklock 8. Isle of Wight Islanders, 50: Kyle Hughes 8+3, Ben Hopwood 9, Danny Warwick 14+1, Aaron Baseby 3+1, Paul Starke 7, Danny Stoneman 5, Gary Cottham 4+1.