The Buxton Hitmen defeated King’s Lynn Youngstars 51-39 in the first leg of the National League K.O.Cup quarter-final.
On the face of it a 12 point first leg lead for the Hitmen to take into the second leg of this National League tie may look like a great result, but the fact is it could have been so much better as team manager Jason Pipe reflected post match.
He said: “After 10 heats we were 16 points up and looking at a 20 plus lead to take to East Anglia, which would have made it much easier to progress to the next round.
“King’s Lynn came on stronger and came out on top in the final third of the meeting.”
The match began well for Buxton with two maximum heat wins in the first three races.
Then in heat four debutant Dale Lamb tried to pass Josh Bailey and high-sided landing awkwardly.
After prolonged medical attention a suspected broken scaphoid was diagnosed.
The young Scot was forced to withdraw from the meeting leaving the home side with just five riders and young number 8 Kyle Roberts.
In the re-run Liam Carr experienced machine problems gifting the visitors their only maximum heat win of the meeting.
The injury meant that fellow reserve David Holt was called upon no less than seven times, scoring his best ever return in Buxton race jacket of 9 paid 12. The following four heats yielded two more maximums both involving man-of-the-match Tom Woolley on his way to his first ever paid maximum at this level.
King’s Lynn’s revival was led by returning number 1 Jake Knight who, following his first heat third placing, looked like he’d never been away with four straight wins including a move in heat 11 where he went past both home riders on the last bend.
A 12 point lead sets up the second leg nicely at the Adrian Flux Arena on Friday 24th July.
Team boss Pipe meanwhile reflected on another injury for his team, saying: “I will probably be working late into the night tonight on a team to face Cradley on Wednesday and for the second leg of this tie next Friday.
“Injuries are part and parcel of Speedway, but we do seem to be having more than our fair share.”
Buxton face three meetings in the next seven days which will test their resources. They are back at Hi-Edge next Sunday (3.00pm) where they welcome the Eastbourne Eagles.
BUXTON 51: Tom Woolley 13+2, Tony Atkin 11+2, Ryan Blacklock 10+1, David Holt 9+3, Liam Carr 7+1, Kyle Roberts (no.8) 1+1, Dale Lamb 0, Adam Extance r/r.
KING’S LYNN 39: Jake Knight 13, Josh Bailey 7+1, Tom Stokes 6, Scott Campos 5, Shane Hazelden 5, Layne Cupitt 2, Ryan Kinsley 1.