Buxton suffered heart-break as the Belle Vue Colts snatched a 46-43 victory over the Hitmen in the Travel Plus National League at Hi-Edge Raceway on Sunday.
The Hitmen led going into the final race, but Jack Smith and Tom Perry managed to push home rider Ben Wilson wider than he wanted to go and head home for a maximum 5-1 heat advantage to leave the Hitmen still looking for their first win of the season and taking last seasons’ National League Champions back to the top of this year’s league.
Buxton team manager Joshua Moss said: “We faltered in the last race but in all honesty, it was great to be going into the last heat leading for once.
“We took the lead early on and they managed to get level in heat twelve and then we got our noses in front a couple of races later.
“Unfortunately we haven’t managed to get the win today but it’s nice to have a close meeting here. I said to the lads today beat your opposite number and they did pretty much that throughout the meeting.
“Heat two showed how far the reserves have come since the start of the season gaining a 5-1 and Lewis Whitmore and Kieran Douglas really got stuck in as did the rest of the lads and we are slowly starting to believe in ourselves and feel there is much more to come.”
The Hitmen took an early 9-3 lead with Ben Wilson and Sam Woolley gaining a 4-2 over Ben Woodhull after Tom Perry had suffered an engine failure and this was followed up with a 5-1 from Whitmore and Douglas.
The Hitmen extended their lead in heat four after Jack Smith fell while leading resulting in his disqualification giving the Hitmen a 5-1 from Wilson and Whitmore to give the home side a 17-7 lead after four heats.
A couple of 4-2 heat advantages and a 5-1 in the next four races saw the Hitmen’s lead dwindle to just two points and that is the way is stayed before heat thirteen saw the visitors draw level with a 4-2 from Smith and Perry over Wilson.
It was a dramatic heat fourteen which saw Whitmore fall on the first lap challenging for third place, then the leader Joe Lawlor suffered a mechanical failure while leading resulting in-home skipper Tom Woolley taking the chequered flag ahead of Kean Dicken resulting in a 3-2 putting the home side into the lead 42-41 going into the final heat which saw the Colts take a maximum 5-1 advantage and left the Hitmen wondering what might have been.
Top scorer for the Hitmen Ben Wilson said: “Everyone chipped in today and things are starting to look positive for us going forward here.
“I enjoyed today and all the boys have smiles on their faces and I’m disappointed that I couldn’t just win that last race, but I got pushed out wide in the first bend and the Belle Vue lads were away.
“Kieran (Douglas) and Lewis (Whitmore) got that 5-1 in heat two and they were buzzing and I was buzzing for them it really gave them a huge confidence boost and they are raring to go now.
“We are just that final heat-leader short and if we can get someone in to come and do a job I do feel we can certainly start getting some wins around our home track.”
BUXTON 43: Ben Wilson 14+1, Lewis Whitmore 8+2, Ryan Terry-Daley 8+1, Tom Woolley 8+1, Kieran Douglas 3+2, Sam Woolley 2+1, Connor Coles r/r.
BELLE VUE 46: Jack Smith 12, Kyle Bickley 11, Tom Perry 9+1, Ben Woodhull 6, Kean Dicken 5, Joe Lawlor 3+2, James Chattin 0