It was a bad day at the office for the Buxton Hitmen as they crashed to their biggest defeat of the season at the home of the champions the Cradley Heathens.
The visitors registered only one heat advantage all night and that was in heat two when home reserve Ellis Perks crashed out and David Holt won the re-run.
Perhaps the only positive that could be taken from the meeting was the performance of Ryan Blacklock, netting 12 points from his six rides.
“I felt as fast as the home guys tonight, but they had the advantage of track knowledge and used it to their advantage,” said manager Jason Pipe.
“Cradley are so good around here, they have their bikes so well set up for Perry Barr and they are so hard to beat.
“We had a little bad luck in heat 15 when Liam was excluded but we had too many riders not quite there tonight whether it be set-ups or recovering from knocks.”
Ironically should the Hitmen progress to the semi-final of the competition their opponents will be Cradley.
“We will be stronger should we come here in the KO Cup and the lads will be better for the experience tonight,” added Pipe.
Buxton lost two meetings to the rain last weekend as the trip to Kings Lynn in the second leg of the KO Cup quarter-final on Friday and the home National League clash with Eastbourne Eagles on Sunday were postponed.
Buxton are at home to Kent Kings this Sunday.
CRADLEY 61: Max Clegg 15, Ellis Perks 15, Matt Williamson 13+2, Arron Mogridge 9+3, Michael Neale 5+2, Tyler Govier 4+1, Nathan Greaves R/R.
BUXTON 31: Ryan Blacklock 12, Liam Carr 7, Tony Atkin 5, David Holt 4, Tom Woolley 2+1, Kyle Roberts 1, Adam Extance R/R.