BUXTON Hitmen pushed title contenders Stoke Potters all the way in a nail-biting National Trophy meeting at High Edge on Sunday.
The Hitmen, missing their top-two riders, had led until a 5-1 in heat 13 by the powerful Stoke duo of Ashley Birks and Simon Lambert.
Adam McKinna and Ryan Blacklock repaid the favour in heat 14, but another 5-1 for the visitors in the final heat saw them edge the meeting 46-43.
Despite the narrow defeat, Hitmen manager Jack Lee was proud of his team.
“The lads fought well today and with a little bit more luck we may have just edged it,” he said.
“We can go to the Isle of Wight on Tuesday with our heads held high and we have Charles Wright back with us then so are a little bit stronger.”
Charles Wright, Dean Felton, Luke Priest and Adam McKinna will represent the Buxton Hitmen in the National League Fours at Stoke on Sunday.
The Hitmen’s next home meeting is on Sunday September 9 against Mildenhall.
Result - Buxton Hitmen 43: Ben Hopwood (G) 3, Dean Felton 6, Luke Priest 8+1, Adam McKinna 9+3, Robert Branford R/R, Chris Widman 4+1, Ryan Blacklock 13+1. Stoke Potters 46: Ashley Birks 13+2, Adam Wrathall R/R, Tony Atkin 10, Ben Reade Withdrawn, Simon Lambert 13+1, Liam Rumsey 2+1, Liam Carr 8+1.