Buxton manager Jason Pipe refused to concede that his team’s Gold Cup aspirations had disappeared following a crushing 48-42 home defeat in a rain-effected match at Hi-Edge against Rye House.
The meeting was always close with no more than two points between the teams in the first seven heats.
Then the home team began to pull away building up a six-point lead by heat nine.
Although the threatened rain was restricted to drizzle and the odd shower as the riders lined-up for the start of heat 12, with just two points again the gap following two heat advantages for the visitors in heats 10 and 11, referee Margaret Vardy deemed the rain too heavy to continue and the riders returned to the pits.
Following a lengthy stoppage, the track was eventually deemed fit to continue racing.
Pipe reflected afterwards, saying: “We were not happy to ride, in my opinion the track wasn’t safe to race.
“Sure we were two points up but even Andrew Silver (Rye House Manager) could see our point of view.
“The Rye House team wanted to continue and the rain did stop briefly, but the damage to the track surface had been done.”
The final four heats swung the way of the visitors, resulting in a six-point victory but even those heats weren’t without incident.
Heat 14 saw David Speight fall whilst leading, claiming he had to go wide to avoid Luke Chessell on the first bend of lap three.
Chessell had fallen before getting back on, and then he was lapped which caused Speight to go out into the wet material on the bend and fall.
He remounted and claimed a point but the league points were all but lost.
“I definitely had to go wide to avoid him (Chessell) and laid the bike down to stop myself falling,” said Speight
“It was a pity because it would have been my best score yet for Buxton.”
Manager Pipe was both frustrated and disappointed in equal measures.
“I said following the match against Kent that it was my lowest point as Buxton team boss, but I think that has just eclipsed that.” Pipe said.
“To be honest the last few heats were a farce and it has cost us.
“That said, I still believe we can grab that last Gold Cup spot.
“Yes, we will pretty much have to win all our remaining matches but given our September line-up, including our new signing, I believe we are capable of doing it.”
Rye House have almost half their matches still to race and are well-poised to grab the final place themselves.
Rob Branford was untouchable during this meeting and was well-supported by Luke Priest and Kyle Hughes.
BUXTON 42: Tony Atkin 11, Ryan Blacklock 9, David Speight 8, Lee Payne 6+1, Tom Woolley 4, Steve Jones 3, Ryan MacDonald 1.
RYE HOUSE 48: Robert Branford 14+1, Kyle Hughes 11+1, Luke Priest 11, Alfie Bowtell 4, George Hunter 4, Sam Woods 2+1, Luke Chessell 2.
• Buxton travelled to King’s Lynn last Friday but were unable to prevent an aggregate defeat in the Knockout Cup.
Although the Hitmen had a 12-point lead coming into the tie, Kings Lynn Youngstars were ultimately too strong.
The home side effectively wiped out their deficit by the halfway mark of this meeting with their impressive reserve Josh Bailey in top form.
The four maximum heat advantages achieved by the Youngstars swayed the tie in their favour.
The final gap between the teams was a mere four points and that was due in no small part to a 15-point maximum from Coventry’s Dan Greenwood guesting for the absent Liam Carr.
“He was simply faultless,” said Jason Pipe after the defeat.
“We lost this in the first leg when we were leading by 16 points and let them back into the tie. All the guys know what they have to do and we will come back stronger.”
KING’S LYNN 53: Josh Bailey 12+3, Tom Stokes 12, Ryan Kinsley 9+1, Scott Campos 8, Jake Knight 6+2, Shane Hazelden 4+1, Layne Cupitt 2+1
BUXTON 37: Dan Greenwood 15, Tony Atkin 9, Ryan Blacklock 5, Tom Woolley 4+2, David Speight 3, Ben Basford 1+1, Steve Jones r/r
King’s Lynn win 92-88 on aggregate
• Buxton are next in action this Sunday (August 30) when they travel to Mildenhall.Their final three outings then see them face Cradley (home) on September 6, Coventry (away) on September 11 and King’s Lynn (home) on September 13.