Hitmen look to rediscover form against Coventry

Photo by Ian Charles, IanCharlesPhotos.net'Buxton Addison Engineering Hitmen v Kings Lynn Young Stars'Sunday 31st August 2014''Tony Atkin (Red) picks up some drive as he leads Luke Priest (Yellow)
Photo by Ian Charles, IanCharlesPhotos.net'Buxton Addison Engineering Hitmen v Kings Lynn Young Stars'Sunday 31st August 2014''Tony Atkin (Red) picks up some drive as he leads Luke Priest (Yellow)

Buxton Hitmen will look to bounce back from last weekend’s double setback, when they host Coventry at Hi-Edge on Sunday (3pm).

The Hitmen are approaching the end of a largely forgettable season, with another couple of losses registered in the space of three days over the bank holiday.

Last Friday the Hitmen travelled to Coventry Storm, going down 65-27.

The late arrival of Ryan Blacklock was just the beginning of the problems for the visitors.

Blacklock, who top-scored in the previous meeting at home to Kent, took over eight hours to reach Brandon from his Workington base due to the weight of traffic on the M6. He arrived to take his place in heat nine.

In truth, Buxton were outclassed by a Coventry side that is assured of finishing in one of the play-off places.

The hosts ran up no less than eight maximum 5-1 heat victories and were it not for a final bend lunge in heat 15 by Hitmen skipper Tony Atkin, the visitors would not have provided a single heat winner.

Atkin once again belied his years to top-score, but sadly he lacked support from his teammates.

Coventry’s Luke Priest, James Sarjeant and Oliver Greenwood were all undefeated by opposition riders further indicating their domination of the fixture.

COVENTRY 65: Luke Priest 15, James Sarjeant 15, Ryan Terry-Daley 10, Oliver Greenwood 9+3, Martin Knuckey 8+3, Dan Greenwood 8+3, Conor Dwyer 0, Stefan Nielsen r/r.

BUXTON 27: Tony Atkin 13, Adam Extance 6+1, Stefan Farnaby 4+1, Ryan Blacklock 3, Tom Woolley 1, Cameron Hoskins 0, Liam Carr r/r.

• On Sunday the Hitmen suffered another defeat, this time by a narrow margin of 53-39 at home to King’s Lynn.

Although the Hitmen never led this encounter, the match was closer than the final score indicates.

The hosts were always within touching distance of the East Anglians until heat 13 when the strength in depth and superb form of guest Luke Priest shone through.

For Buxton, the stand-out performance was from Ryan Blacklock who looked sharp from the gate.

He said afterwards: “I’ve spent a lot of time in the last fortnight practicing - and it shows.

“I’m feeling really good on the bike and I’m after Tony’s number one race jacket!”

Both of Buxton’s heat advantages involved Blacklock, who finished on 13+1, and he was well-supported by skipper Atkin (13) and Adam Extance (7+2).

BUXTON 39: Ryan Blacklock 13+1, Tony Atkin 13, Adam Extance 7+2, Tom Woolley 3+2, Cameron Hoskins 2+1, Stefan Farnaby 1, Liam Carr r/r.
KING’S LYNN 53: Luke Priest 16+1, James Cockle 12+1, Tom Stokes 8+2, Marc Owen 8+1, Darren Mallett 6, Josh Bailey 3+2, Lewis Rose r/r.