Turning up the heat

Buxton Hitmen v Stoke Potters, National League, 11.9.2011''Buxton's Robert Branford (r) leads Stoke's James Sarjeant (w) Paul Burnett (b) and Tony Atkin (y)
Buxton Hitmen v Stoke Potters, National League, 11.9.2011''Buxton's Robert Branford (r) leads Stoke's James Sarjeant (w) Paul Burnett (b) and Tony Atkin (y)
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Buxton hit back on Sunday with a fantastic 13 point win over speedway league leaders Stoke.

The Buxton team lost out at Stoke last week in the final few heats so were desperate for revenge and to show the Potters that on their own track it was a different story.

Stoke’s Potters took the lead at the start of the meeting with a 2-4 then two 3-3’s, but in heat four Hitmen pairing Robert Branford and Ryan Blacklock got an impressive 4-2 over the visitors to get the score level.

Luke Priest and Ben Taylor followed in heat five with a 3-3. Then heat six saw the Hitmen gain control with a 5-1 from Adam Allott and Dean Felton.

A 4-2 followed in heat seven then Stoke came back with a 2-4 in heat eight.

Heat nine reversed the last score with a 4-2 to the Hitmen but Stoke pairing Tony Atkin and James Sarjeant returned in heat ten with a 1-5 getting the scores close again to 31-29.

Buxton though weren’t going to have a repeat of last week so fought back with two 4-2’s in heats 11 and 12.

Heat 13 was a dramatic one with the referee making a controversial decision of excluding Adam Allott for moving on the start line putting him back on a fifteen meter handicap.

In the re-run, Stokes Tim Webster slid off making the heat score a 3-3.

A 4-2 and a 5-1 followed in the remaining two heats and a fantastic 51-39 win over a very strong Stoke side.

Speaking after the meeting team manager Jack Lee: “It’s been a real tense meeting today against Stoke.

“It was a real good cut and thrust match, the boys all put the best effort into it that they could and we’ve come out trumps to win by 13 points,

“I’m over the moon with that. I would have been happy with six but 13 we really socked it to them.

“Stoke are favourites to win the league title so if our lads could have been like that all year and if we had the commitment then that we have had now we would have been up there challenging for the league title with them but it’s the end of the season now for us and everything is coming good for us right now.

“At least we have managed to get off the very bottom of the league, that’s what we wanted to do. After last year’s successes we don’t want to finish at the bottom this year.

“If we can keep this commitment up now until the end of the season we should win our last two meetings against the Isle of Wight and Newport and end the season on a good note.”

The Hitmen are next in home action on Sunday against the Isle of Wight. Start time is 3pm.

Results: Buxton: 51: Ben Taylor 14, Robert Branford 13+1, Dean Felton 7+1, Luke Priest 5+1, Paul Burnett 5, Adam Allott 4+1, Ryan Blacklock 3+1. Stoke: 39: Tony Atkin 9+1, Simon Lambert 9, Gareth Isherwood 8, Jamie Pickard 6, James Sarjeant 4+1, Tim Webster 2, Ben Reade 1.