KENT 61 HITMEN 29

Monday May 01, 2017
Given the incidents and accidents the day before the Hitmen were always up against it as they travelled to Kent without any of their recognised top 3.

Although guest James Cockle weighed in with a respectable 10 points taking 3 3-point riders to Kent always looked like a forlorn hope. There were further injuries to skipper Tom Woolley who sustained a nasty loop at the gate and a first bend spill for reserve Lee Geary which resulted in a trip in an ambulance. Fortunately, he was only winded and should be fit for the weekend's visit of Belle Vue. This meeting though was one to chalk down to experience and Jason Pipe took at least some positives from the trip

‘This was always going to be a hard meeting for us anyway, even had we been able to field our full team. Unfortunately, we lost Matt following his Saturday fall, he didn't feel as though he could have coped putting his body through another meeting so soon.

I'd like to thank James Cockle for stepping in to guest for Matt and coming away with 10 points. Cockle was originally guesting for Perks, but when Perks didn't ride at Buxton, we were no longer allowed a facility for him, meaning we had to run with William O'Keefe again in the top 5.

I'd also like to thank Eastbourne's Georgie Wood for being on standby for us, to race at Kent. Even though he didn't ride in the end because of the ruling on Perks, but it was still good to see Georgie turn up and support the lads.

Lee Dicken also had to pull out of the trip too, with him having concussion and wasn't allowed to ride. During the meeting, we saw Tom Woolley take another heavy tumble in one ride, when his clutch arm snapped and his bike flipped him back over on the start line. With Tom already battered and bruised from his heavy fall the day before, this was the last thing he needed. I can see Tom's body not being itself over the next week days!!

With us using rider replacement for Lee Dicken, I drafted in Tom's younger brother, Sam Woolley to be Number 8. It was a meeting we were never going to win, so before the match started I decided I'd give all r/r rides to Sam and that I wouldn't be making any changes in the meeting unless it was forced upon me. By doing this all the lads had a fair share of track time and it was good to be able to give these lads the track time like this, which in this league is really what it's all about or should be and sometimes clubs lose focus on this! The lads all enjoyed their rides at Kent and always had a smile on their faces. All heads were held high and even though we were on the wrong end of a heavy defeat and didn't have one race winner, it was really good to see that none of my riders had a zero in the total column next to their names, with everyone scoring and we managed to score 29 points with a patched-up team and even Mildenhall could only manage 25 points away at Belle Vue last week and they had their full team on track!!

Lee Geary also took a heavy tumble in his last race at Kent and he was heavily winded and will be feeling very sore in the next day or so!

Best wishes to all our battered and bruised riders and hopefully they'll all be lining up at the start line this coming Sunday, when we take on local rivals the Belle Vue Colts, which I've said will be our hardest home meeting of the season, on paper!’

KENT 61: Luke Bowen 15, Ben Hopwood 13, Nathan Stoneman 10, Bradley Andrews 9+2, Jack Thomas 7+1, Luke Clifton 5+1, Alex Spooner 2.

BUXTON 29: James Cockle 10, Tom Woolley 6, Lee Geary 5, Carl Basford 3, Shelby Rutherford 2+2, William O’Keefe 2, Sam Woolley (no.8) 1+1, Lee Dicken R/R.

Picture: ELIZABETH LESLIE