Hitmen suffer big defeat in maiden home meeting

Photo by Ian Charles, IanCharlesPhotos.net'Buxton Hitmen v Stoke Potters'Sunday 4th May 2014''Buxton's Ryan Blacklock collides with Stoke's Rob Shuttleworth (Yellow) and team mate Adam Extance (Blue)
Photo by Ian Charles, IanCharlesPhotos.net'Buxton Hitmen v Stoke Potters'Sunday 4th May 2014''Buxton's Ryan Blacklock collides with Stoke's Rob Shuttleworth (Yellow) and team mate Adam Extance (Blue)

It was a triumph for experience over exuberance as Stoke Potters claimed all four league points in the curtain-raiser to the 2014 league season at Hi-Edge, winning 64-30.

Not even a double-point return from Tony Atkin and a useful six-point haul from Tom Woolley could halt the visitors’ charge.

It was testament to the strength in depth of the Potters that they did not register a last place all afternoon.

Buxton’s cause was not helped following an injury sustained by skipper Liam Carr in heat 11 following a broken chain whilst leading.

The previously unbeaten Carr, including a six-point tactical haul in heat 6 was excluded and retired in his last ride.

Carr said afterwards he was carrying a foot injury, sustained 24 hours previously during a meeting in Berwick.

Buxton team manager Jayne Moss paid tribute to her inexperienced team.

She said: “You can see an improvement even since the Cradley meeting.

“Stoke are a very experienced team and it was always going to be tough but there is cause for optimism for the matches to come.”

New trio Sean Phillips, Stefan Farnaby and Adam Extrance still looked to be finding their feet and Ryan Blacklock struggled with machine problems throughout the meeting.

Stoke’s newly-crowned Bronze Helmet holder Ben Wilson also successfully defended his title against Tony Atkin.

Buxton Scorers: Tony Atkin 10, Liam Carr 9, Tom Woolley 6, Ryan Blacklock 3, Adam Extance 2, Sean Phillips 0, Stefan Farnaby 0.