Mixed weekend for the Hitmen

PODIUM FINISH: Rob Branford (white), Lewis Blackbird (red) and Charles Wright (yellow) in action during the National League Pairs at Mildenhall on Sunday. Photo: Jeff Higgott.
PODIUM FINISH: Rob Branford (white), Lewis Blackbird (red) and Charles Wright (yellow) in action during the National League Pairs at Mildenhall on Sunday. Photo: Jeff Higgott.

BUXTON Hitmen endured a mixed weekend, with defeat at title-favourites Mildenhall Fen Tigers followed by a surprise second place in the National League Pairs Championship.

The returning Charles Wright was the Hitmen’s top-scorer as they went down 53-40 at Mildenhall in Saturday’s National League clash.

Promoter Jayne Moss said: “We knew it was going to be incredibly tough, but with Wright back in the team and a new boost to their confidence after last weekend’s home win, the lads raced hard.

“Adam Mckinna had a nasty crash in heat three but came back in heat seven to score a fantastic six points, and Ryan Blacklock was back in the race seat despite breaking his finger last weekend.

“It proves that the team is really trying hard to change their luck and I’m sure when Mildenhall come to us this weekend for the return leg the Hitmen will be ready to fight back.”

Two of the Buxton side – Wright and Robert Branford – remained in Mildenhall to race in Sunday’s National League Pairs Championship, securing second place on the podium.

Mrs Moss added: “Think back a few months when Dudley came to Buxton and hit us with a 65-27 win and people wrote us off and now we are beating them in the pairs. It’s incredible and just shows the determination the lads have to get back to the top.”

The Hitmen host Mildenhall on Sunday (3pm start).

Mildenhall 53: Aaron Baseby (G) 4+2, Joe Jacobs 13, Stefan Nielsen 16, Daniel Halsey 9+2,Lewis Blackbird R/R, Ryan Terry-Daley 2, Josh Bates 9+2.

Buxton 40: Charles Wright 11+2, Dean Felton 1, Luke Priest 2, Adam Mckinna 9, Robert Branford 10, Chris Widman 4, Ryan Blacklock 3.

National League Pairs: 1st, Mildenhall Fen Tigers, 17 (Cameron Heeps, 11+1; Lewis Blackbird, 6); 2nd, Buxton Hitmen, 14 (Robert Branford, 8; Charles Wright, 6); 3rd, Dudley Heathens, 12 (Tom Perry, 10; Byron Bekker, 2+1).