CRADLEY V HITMEN, PREVIEW

Sunday July 02, 2017
It’s a case of ‘Friends Reunited’ this Monday at Monmore Green when the Hitmen are the visitors in National League action as they take on the Cradley Heathens.

Matt Williamson and Max Clegg are no strangers to the Black Country having spent recent seasons in Green and white and Shelby Rutherford makes his Heathens home debut against his previous employers. Monmore Green has been a lucky place in recent years but Manager Jason Pipe is under no illusions as to the task ahead.

‘Cradley is never an easy place to go to but it's these sort of meetings our riders really look forward to. Thankfully we have both Max and Matt available for this fixture and the score line will hopefully be a lot closer than some of our meetings we've competed in this season. No disrespect to our guests that have been and will be covering for them on occasions, but it's not the same when using guests and it's very hard to cover for riders like Max and Matt. For example, we had Kyle Bickley guest in our last meeting at home to Eastbourne and I'm sure had Matt had have been riding, he'd have scored at least 12-13 points. Add those points on to what Kyle scored, then that could have been a Home win and it was the same the home meeting before that when we were beat by Mildenhall by 10 points and the extra points from Matt compared to what r/r got us, we'd have won that meeting too?! We are not a bad side at all, but that is the difference between us winning and losing meetings. One day soon I'm sure we will have a meeting that we'll just win and shock one or two people, when it's not expected and that will be down to us having our full 1-7 out on track. I don't think we have our own 1-7 out on track again until our Away meeting at the Isle of Wight on August 4th. But I suppose that's what we have to put up with when there's so many riders doubling up and down in the Sport today.

‘We travel to Cradley on Monday without our new signing Jamie Halder, who is unavailable due to family reasons. At this moment in time I'm still looking over available 3.00 point unattached riders, as that's what we have to use to cover for Jamie at number 2. It's going to feel very strange having Shelby line up against us. It's something I never thought would happen, but it has and I wish Shelby all the very best and I hope this much-needed change works out for him. If he does have a good meeting against us on Monday, I'll be one of the first there to congratulate him on a good meeting. There's no bad feeling between Shelby and the club. Many people may ask, why did I let Shelby go to Cradley now and not wait until Tuesday. But the truth is, Cradley have a meeting the day before at Stoke and they needed Shelby to race it that. So, we agreed to let him go now, when many other clubs would probably not have done, even though we must line up an unattached 3.00 pointer on Monday. I like to think I'm a fair guy and I like to help others where I can. One thing I can't be accused of is being awkward! Let's be honest, Buxton are not going to get in to the play offs now, but I'm sure Cradley will. If it helps Cradley by letting them have him now, then that's a good thing in my eyes. Shelby riding for them at Stoke 'could' make a different between Cradley winning or not at Stoke. On Monday, I'm hoping Max and Matt can go out and score around 25 points at least between them and if Tom and Ryan can pick up say 11 points between them and the reserves 6 points between them, then that would be enough to get us something from the meeting. That's the target for Monday evening anyway. Anything else would be a bonus! Our riders are more than capable of achieving those targets, but it's just what happens on the night and how they adapt to the track and have their bikes set up right from the start.’

Cradley Heathens 1 Danny Ayres 2 Joe Lawlor 3 Dan Greenwood 4 Luke Harris 5 Tom Perry 6 Connor Dwyer 7 Shelby Rutherford

Buxton Hitmen 1 Matt Williamson 2 TBC 3 Ryan Kinsley 4 Tom Woolley 5 Max Clegg 6 Lee Geary 7 Ben Woodhull