TEAM manager Jack Lee admitted the Buxton Hitmen were “beaten by a much better side” following their 65-27 thumping by National League title favourites Dudley Heathens on Sunday.
The Heathens were fast off the starts and, apart from a few heat wins from Robert Branford and Adam McKinna, the Hitmen were unable to put up much of a fight against their Premier League-standard visitors.
A disappointed Lee said afterwards: “We admit we were beaten by a much better team today. We were hoping to have scored better than we did, but they were quicker off the starts and they were very fast. Our riders just couldn’t match them.”
Lee said this was not helped by the Hitmen’s stop-start fixture list - and emphasised the need for more track time.
“We have a busy period coming up from next weekend so that will give us a bit more track time which the lads are lacking,” Lee said.
The Hitmen suffered a further blow on Sunday when Michael Neale collided with team-mate McKinna in heat 11 and sustained a broken wrist which will keep him on the sidelines for several weeks. McKinna was able to continue, borrowing a bike for his remaining two rides - but faces an expensive bike rebuild.
The team is next in action in the National League Fours on Saturday at Stoke, and then away at Mildenhall on Sunday before the return leg at Dudley the following Tuesday.
“I just hope when we go to Dudley a week on Tuesday we put on a better show than we did today,” added Lee.
“It’s been a bad day for us but we need to just put this score behind us and come back next week and start afresh.”
Results: Buxton: 27: Robert Branford 9, Adam McKinna 6, Luke Priest 5+1, Dean Felton 4, Ryan Blacklock 2+1, Richard Andrews 1, Michael Neale 0. Dudley: 65: Tom Perry 13+1, Ashley Birks 12, Ashley Morris 11+3, Dan Greenwood 10+1, Byron Bekker 8+3, Darryl Ritchings 7+1, James White-Williams 4+2.