Speedway: King’s Lynn 56-37 Buxton Hitmen

Photo by Ian Charles:''Ryan Blacklock in action
Photo by Ian Charles:''Ryan Blacklock in action

Despite the fact that Buxton were never in front in this National League encounter, there were a few high points for the travelling supporters to cheer.

However the visitors were sadly lacking in depth with 23 of their 37 points coming from two riders; veteran skipper Tony Atkin and a rejuvenated Ryan Blacklock.

“I felt really good out there, my set-up was wrong for my first race but when we got that sorted it went really well,” said Cumbrian Blacklock.

For the Hitmen the initial damage came in the first four heats where the visitors didn’t have a heat winner.

Heat five however saw the first of two maximum heat advantages from Blacklock and Atkin; the other coming in Heat 12.

Inbetween, Blacklock took a tactical ride in heat eight and scored a 6-3 advantage.

The torrent from the home side was too strong with a full maximum for James Cockle and some great racing from Josh Bailey.

All told, the hosts recorded no less than 12 heat wins and their greater strength in depth and match fitness was the clear difference.

It was not a good night for Adam Extance who was dogged by machine problems and the inexperienced reserve pairing of Basford and Holt struggled at times.

Team Manager Jason Pipe refused to be downbeat.

“We scored more points than we did last season!,” said the Hitmen chief.

“Kings Lynn are really good at home and you have to be really fit to ride here I was particularly chuffed with Ryan – he’s pulled his arms out tonight! And he was well supported by Tony Atkin.”

Pipe did however bemoan the loss of reserves Paul Bowen and Cameron Hoskins.

He added: “We’ve had to cover for Paul and Cameron tonight and the guys who replaced them are not quite ready yet.

“But we’ve given them a chance and you’ve seen how well they performed in the MDL match once they got ‘dialed-in’ to the track.”’

The Junior Hitmen did however record their first Midland Development League victory of the season following the National League fixture with a 10-point victory over Kings Lynn Lightning.

• Hitmen’s meeting with Cradley last Sunday was postponed because of a waterlogged track.

KING’S LYNN 56: James Cockle 12, Tom Stokes 11, Shane Hazelden 9+1, Josh Bailey 7+2, Scott Campos 7+2, Ryan Kingsley 5+1, Layne Cupitt 5

BUXTON 37: Ryan Blacklock 12+2, Tony Atkin 11+1, Tom Woolley 4, Ben Hopwood 4, Adam Extance 3, David Holt 2, Ben Basford 1