Hitmen crash to opening day defeat

Buxton Speedway Press & Practice Day,'Photo by Ian Charles, �IanCharlesPhotos.net'Sunday 27th April 2014''Tony Atkin in action at Buxton's Press day

Buxton Speedway Press & Practice Day,'Photo by Ian Charles, �IanCharlesPhotos.net'Sunday 27th April 2014''Tony Atkin in action at Buxton's Press day

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Buxton Hitmen began their 2014 campaign at reigning league champions Cradley Heathens, and the match proved every bit as difficult on the track as it looked on paper.

The home side notched up no less than 12 maximum heat wins on their way to a club-record 71-19 victory.

Buxton Speedway Press & Practice Day,'Photo by Ian Charles, �IanCharlesPhotos.net'Sunday 27th April 2014''The Hitmen present at their press and practice day (l-r) Tom Woolley, Tony Atkin, Adam Extance, Ryan Blacklock, Sean Phillips, Stefan Farnaby.'Missing was skipper Liam Carr who was appearing for his parent club Berwick on Sunday.

Buxton Speedway Press & Practice Day,'Photo by Ian Charles, �IanCharlesPhotos.net'Sunday 27th April 2014''The Hitmen present at their press and practice day (l-r) Tom Woolley, Tony Atkin, Adam Extance, Ryan Blacklock, Sean Phillips, Stefan Farnaby.'Missing was skipper Liam Carr who was appearing for his parent club Berwick on Sunday.

The meeting had begun brightly for the young Hitmen side when they shared the opening heat with veteran number one Tony Atkin and newcomer Sean Phillips filling the minor placings behind Heathens Skipper Paul Starke.

Sadly it proved to be the only time all evening that the visitors achieved parity.

5-1 after 5-1 followed, with only flashes of resistance shown by Liam Carr in heat four and Ryan Blacklock in heat 12.

After the meeting, skipper Liam Carr reflected on what was a baptism of fire for the revamped Hitmen.

He said: “Cradley are a class act.

“It was always going to be a tough opener as we hadn’t ridden and it was their (Cradley) fourth or fifth meeting.

“At least the team escaped without injury or damage to equipment.

“It was good for the team to get some track time and I’m very much looking forward to the Stoke meeting on Sunday.”

It will be a steep learning curve for Carr and his team this season and the team need to adjust quickly with their second meeting just days away.

This Sunday (May 4) Hitmen welcome the Stoke Potters to Hi-edge, 3pm.

Buxton Scorers: Liam Carr 6, Tony Atkin 4, Tom Woolley 4, Sean Phillips 2+1, Ryan Blacklock 2, Adam Extance 1, Stefan Farnaby 0.