VIDEO: Last heat decider as Buxton Hitmen beat fellow strugglers Kent

Buxton eventually came out winners of Sunday’s National League basement battle with Kent Kings with a much-needed 49-43 at Hi-Edge.

However the destination of the league points was in doubt right until Heat 14 when debutant duo of Steve Jones and David Speight teamed-up for a winning 5-1 maximum.

Photo by Ian Charles:Tom Woolley (Blue) and Liam Carr (Red) under pressure from Danny Ayres (White)

Photo by Ian Charles:Tom Woolley (Blue) and Liam Carr (Red) under pressure from Danny Ayres (White)

The home side had built up a 13 point lead by the end of heat 10 only for the visitors, hampered by the early loss of Jamie Couzins with a suspected broken finger, to hit back with Ben Morley and James Shanes riding particularly well to grab a deserved away league point.

Shanes’ passing manoeuvre in heat 13 was worth the admission money on its own.

That should not detract from a victory that lifts the Hitmen from rock bottom in the league to mid-table.

Post-match team boss Jason Pipe was left thinking what might have been.

“It could have been so much better as we were 13 points up with five heats to go, but Kent won the final five races 20-13 which is quite frustrating,” he said.

“I’ve been very impressed with the team as a whole and the match-winning performance of our two new riders who seem to have taken to Hi-edge well.”

Debutant Steve Jones enjoyed his first experience in a Buxton race jacket, saying: “The track is a little rougher than I’m used to, having ridden at Scunthorpe last season, but I have to say I like this place now.

“Before heat 14 Jason said to me – go out and win it for us. I didn’t have much choice really.”

Asked why at the age of 35 he had returned to National League racing, Edinburgh-based Jones said: “I have unfinished business and believe I am capable of a seven plus average at this level.”

Meanwhile Pipe’s thoughts turned to this week’s ‘Southern Tour’ when the Hitmen face the Eastbourne Eagles and Kent again on August 9/10.

“I’m setting the boys a target of four points from those two meetings and ultimately still feel we can qualify for the end-of-season Gold Cup by grabbing fourth place in the League.”

Racing returns to Hi-Edge on Sunday, August 16 when runaway league leaders the Birmingham Brummies are the visitors.

BUXTON 49: Tony Atkin 10+1, Ryan Blacklock 10, Liam Carr 8, Steven Jones 7, Tom Woolley 6+1, David Speight 6+1, David Holt 2+1.

KENT 43: Ben Morley 14, James Shanes 12+1, Danny Ayres 7, Ben Basford 5+2, Aaron Baseby 4, Adam Sheppard 1, Jamie Couzins 0.

League points: Buxton 3 Kent 1.