Buxton Hitmen’s skipper Liam Carr has been ruled out for the season after sustaining an injury whilst guest riding for another team.
Carr suffered the crash last Thursday night riding for Sheffield Tigers, and was taken to hospital with a suspected broken leg.
He spent the night in hospital and although scans revealed that the leg is not broken, the ligaments around the knee are badly damaged and therefore require an operation.
The injury is a huge blow to the Hitmen, as the youngster was in a rich vein of form having returned 17 in his last outing for Buxton at Kent on August 18.
Promoter Jayne Moss wished her skipper all the best for his operation.
The Hitmen had to shrug off Carr’s absence quickly as they hosted Kent on Sunday for their re-arranged clash at Hi-Edge.
The original tie was rained off the previous Sunday, although the extra rest didn’t benefit the Hitmen as they went down 56-32.
For eight heats the Hitmen stayed close on Kent’s coattails and that was down in no small part to the performance of the returning Ryan Blacklock.
Blacklock, who had missed six weeks with a hand injury, reeled off three straight wins in his first three rides.
Unfortunately for the home side, these were the only three heat wins of the afternoon.
The match began brightly for Buxton with a maximum advantage in heat one, when Blacklock was joined by his skipper Tony Atkin and the pair combined again in heat six to inflict a 4-2 win over the visitors.
However, these were the only two advantages of the meeting for the home side as they struggled to get into their groove.
One positive that Buxton could take from the meeting was Stefan Farnaby’s best-ever return in the race jacket with paid six.
Team boss Jayne Moss said afterwards: “We just ran out of steam. Kent had strength in depth, but we tailed off towards the end.
“It was however good to see Ryan back to his best. He’s been practicing this week and you could tell.”
Kent meanwhile underlined their play-off credentials with impressive scoring throughout.
David Mason registered a paid 15 maximum, and he was backed up by the reliable Simon Lambert and Ben Morley with double-figure returns.
BUXTON: Ryan Blacklock 11, Tony Atkin 9+2, Adam Extance 5+1, Stefan Farnaby 5+1, Tom Woolley 2, Tom Bacon 0, Liam Carr r/r.
KENT: David Mason 14+1, Simon Lambert 14, Ben Morley 10+2, Jason Garrad 7+1, Aaron Baseby 6+3, Danny Ayres 5, Benji Compton r/r.
• Bank Holiday Monday’s scheduled meeting away at Scunthorpe was postponed because of a waterlogged track.
A new date will be announced in due course.
The Hitmen’s next outing is Friday, when they go to Coventry before they host King’s Lynn 48 hours later.