HITMEN v CRADLEY, PREVIEW

Saturday May 20, 2017
This Sunday at Hi Edge the Buxton Hitmen face another tough challenge when the high-flying Cradley Heathens are the visitors to Hi-Edge in a National League encounter (3.00pm start).

As if their task wasn’t hard enough the Hitmen go into the fixture without 3 key riders. Team boss Jason Pipe takes up the story.

‘We have to go in to this meeting without the 3 heat leaders in our declared 1-7! Unfortunately for us, Workington have rearranged a home fixture for this Sunday, so we must use a guest to cover for Matt (Williamson) at number 1 and that will be Luke Priest. Lee Dicken is still suffering from his crash 3 weeks ago, so we have to use Rider Replacement for him, his problem is with his hand and Knee, more his hand. He's certain it isn't broken, but it's not yet strong enough for him to hold on and race his bike. It looks like heis going to be out of action for another 2-3 weeks unfortunately, to give himself further time to get back to fitness and will look to test himself out on a bike sometime soon. Ellis Perks won't be racing, because he's currently injured and has now also decided to not race in the NL in 2017 after all. Though because of the rules, we can still only cover for him with a 3.00 point unattached rider, who Sunday will be Belle Vue's number 8, Ben Woodhull. I'm sure Ben will be looking to do well in this meeting, because he knows Belle Vue will be watching and so will one or 2 other clubs, to see how he goes. Let's not kid ourselves, this meeting is one we are not expected to win, but Speedway sometimes serves up a few surprises and if it all clicks on the day and we have plenty of lady luck (which we deserve!) on our side, then maybe we can upset the Heathens! One thing is for sure, we will be guaranteed to see some good racing on Sunday. Two riders who will be looking forward to trying and getting a few points are Ryan Burton and Joe Lawlor. Both rode for the Hitmen last season and it will be interesting to see how things go for them. We haven't had much to cheer so far this season and our bad luck from 2016 seems to have followed us in to 2017! which has mainly been down to Ellis doing a u turn and the injury to Lee Dicken as well as knocks suffered to Tom Woolley and Lee Geary so early on.’
 
Pipe did however have some good news for the long-suffering Hitmen Supporters ‘ I'm very pleased to say, that finally, after speaking to the right people, our luck will hopefully be changing very soon, I hope! I'm so pleased to say that an agreement has been reached with a Heat Leader to come in to our side to replace Ellis from next week, subject to clearance from the BSPA. We have been given the go ahead from the right people in charge, so this should just be a formality. This signing is going to shock a few people and it's going to be interesting to see what the reaction will be once he is revealed, which we hope will be early next week, in time to make his debut for us at Birmingham next Wednesday. This will hopefully now make us a much more competitive team. For our new rider to come in, we must redeclare our 1-7. To fit in this rider, we have had to take Lee Dicken out of the current 1-7 and bring in another 3.00 point rider, which Lee is happy for us to do, as it means it gives him the time to recover from his injuries and also be there more for his Son Kean, when he comes back in to NL racing later this month, having had time out with his own injury. This isn't the end for Lee and him racing for Buxton. We have had a good chat and once Lee is fully fit again, we'll be looking at how we can bring him back in to the 1-7. Maybe our averages will be low enough to bring him straight back in for that 3.00 pointer or we may have to look at making another team change to fit him back in?! Either way, Lee has been told by me that his team place is safe and once we get him back as well, I can't see many teams wanting to come to Buxton to race against us and we'll certainly be much more competitive away from home as well’
 
 Teams. Buxton 1 Luke Priest (G) 2 Ben Woodhull 3 R/R for Dicken 4 Shelby Rutherford 5 Tom Woolley 6 Lee Geary 7 Carl Basford 
Cradley 1 Danny Ayres 2 Ryan Burton 3 Dan Greenwood 4 Luke Harris 5 Tom Perry 6 Conor Dwyer 7 Joe Lawlor