STOKE 56 HITMEN 34 - MATCH REPORT

Saturday May 19, 2018
BUXTON suffered a 56-34 defeat against Stoke in the National Trophy at Loomer Road on Saturday night.

The Hitmen were hit early in the day with the news that David Wallinger had been taking ill revising plans for team manager Joshua Moss who called on the services of former Buxton and Stoke rider Jon Armstrong and they were further hampered with Corban Pavitt being injured in a heat four crash with saw the youngster sustain a scaphoid injury and having to withdraw from the meeting.

The Hitmen trailed after the opening heat as Max Clegg got the better of Ben Wilson with Paul Burnett taking third place from a battling Pavitt for a 4-2 advantage to the Potters. The hitmen bounced back though after William O’Keefe had been disqualified for the Potters after falling while leading and Buxton’s Lewis Whitmore took full advantage taking the chequered flag ahead of Joe Alcock with Kieran Douglas third to level the scores. Stoke skipper Tony Atkin took the flag in heat three for victory but was then promptly disqualified from the race after he’d not attached his dirt deflector to the bike prior to the race resulting in skipper Tom Woolley being awarded the victory ahead of team mate Armstrong for a 5-1 putting the Hitmen 11-7 in front after three heats. The Potters struck back in the next race though after Corban Pavitt had been tussling with Burnett, Pavitt came off heavily and was withdrawn from the meeting by medical staff as was Stoke’s William O’Keefe who hit the safety fence hard as he put the bike down to avoid Pavitt resulting in him going to hospital with a suspected dislocated shoulder. In the rerun Burnett took the victory from Whitmore with Alcock taking third for a 4-2 to the Potters as the Hitmen still led 13-11.

Heat six saw the Potters gain a 5-1 from Clegg and Burnett to leave the Hitmen trailing and then Stoke piled on the pressure gaining two further maximum heat advantages in heats eight and nine before reeling off four 4-2 heat wins despite the best efforts of Wilson and Woolley. The Buxton skipper gained a consolation victory in the penultimate heat over Extance and Alcock before Clegg and Atkin took a 5-1 in the final race.

Hitmen skipper Tom Woolley commented “It was a difficult track tonight and we had a couple of crashes with the reserves in heat two and then losing Corban (Pavitt) was a big loss for us and a turning point in the meeting. We then had some broken bikes and sore bodies which is never a good thing especially tonight when the track was as rough as it was and hard to get around and we gave it our best but our best isn’t good enough sometimes. I looked at the scores early in the meeting and saw that we were leading and thought it might just be our night but then we lost Corban and that really hurt everybody in the team with extra rides on the bounce and it takes a toll on the bikes and the riders. Ben (Wilson had a good night tonight but you had to get out of the gate as you couldn’t really pass on the track tonight.”

STOKE 56: Max Clegg 18, Tony Atkin 13+1, Paul Burnett 10+1, Joe Alcock 8+2, Adam Extance 7+2, William O’Keefe 0, Rob Shuttleworth r/r.
BUXTON 34: Tom Woolley 12, Ben Wilson 9, Lewis Whitmore 6, Jon Armstrong 5+2, Kieran Douglas 2, Corban Pavitt 0, David Wallinger r/r.