ISLE OF WIGHT 'Warriors' vs EASTBOURNE 'Eagles'
National League : 30/08/2018
Warriors Out To Clip The Eagles Wings
The Isle of Wight ‘Wightlink’ Warriors speedway team return to the Andrew Younie Smallbrook Stadium on Thursday to face play-off chasing Eastbourne Eagles in a crucial National League fixture.
This will be the Warriors final home League meeting of the season against a team who have already tasted success on two previous occasions at Smallbrook this season in both the Knock Out Cup and National Trophy. Although currently sitting fifth in the table, the Eagles do have winnable meetings in hand and a top four finish will book a play-off place – the minimum expected by a management team hungry for silverware. The fast paced Island circuit won’t hold any fears for Eagles former Warrior Mark Baseby and recent outings at Smallbrook for Tom Brennan and Jason Edwards will ensure a very competitive Eagles squad should not be hampered by the absence of Georgie Wood should he have to sit the meeting out following a heavy fall last Saturday.
This week will be the first time Warriors number one Alfie Bowtell has come up against the Eagles whilst representing the Island side, but he too was in the wars last weekend taking an awkward fall at Newcastle whilst racing for Lakeside in the Championship however he is determined to line up alongside Ben Morley and Scott Campos as the Island’s top men will need to clip some Eagle wings. There are sure to be some exciting battles as well amongst the lower order riders and it is their performances that might well swing the result one way or the other. With Warriors Jamie Bursill away in Spain on a pre-booked holiday, Jamie Sealey will step in to an otherwise unchanged home side.
Co-promoter Barry Bishop is looking forward to another great meeting as he said, “I can’t really believe this match completes our home league programme. We could hardly have asked for a tougher finish having to take on the Fen Tigers and the Eagles at Smallbrook in our last two home league fixtures, but it is what it is and we will be working overtime to try and round our season off on a winning note. We have had some fantastic nights at the Andrew Younie this season and I’m sure we’re in for some classic on-track action and off-track fun this week and also next week when we will close our season with the very special Wightlink September Showdown for which details will be released very shortly”.
Early team news for Thursday:
Warriors – Alfie Bowtell, Danno Verge, Scott Campos, Chris Widman, Ben Morley, Jamie Sealey, Shaun Tedham.
Eagles – Tom Brennan, Jason Edwards, Mark Baseby, Charley Powell, Georgie Wood (if fit or rider replacement), Ethan Spiller, Charlie Brooks.
Warriors Can’t Upset High Flying Eagles
Isle of Wight 38 Eastbourne 52
It was disappointment for the Isle of Wight ‘Wightlink’ Warriors speedway team tonight as they were unable to contain the all round power of the Eastbourne Eagles who took a comfortable fourteen point win on the night.
Warriors on track determination met with little luck as a mechanical issue, starting infringement, falls and a debatable refereeing non-decision all added to another of these ‘what might have been’ nights. Warriors big guns Alfie Bowtell and Ben Morley both opened their evenings work with convincing race wins but each riders third outing went sour, firstly as Bowtell’s machine lost power as he was leading heat ten and then in the next race Morley fouled the tapes and had to take a fifteen meter handicap. His ‘bust a gut’ efforts from the penalty line soon had him on the tail of the Eagles opening pair of Jason Edwards and Tom Brennan but the Warrior just couldn’t find a path to pass his opponents.
Bowtell, whose eventful night included clocking the fastest time by a Warrior this year in heat one, then suffered a heavy fall in heat 15 as he tried a huge ‘round the boards’ attack on Edwards, whilst team mate Shaun Tedham also took two falls on the night, again as a result of determined efforts to pass opponents.
Most frustrated Warrior was Chris Widman. Still seeking full fitness following his wrist injury, he looked to be in good shape in heat 14 only for Eagles Charley Powell to get into trouble and unintentionally block Widman’s line and after Tedham’s fall had forced a restart, it was almost a case of déjà-vu with Powell’s ‘wobble’ again forcing the Warrior wide allowing Eagles Charlie Brooks through. Just ‘Racing Incidents’ in the eyes of the official with no sanction necessary.
Eagles arrived with Georgie Wood reporting fit after a big crash last weekend and he showed no ill effects as he went from last to first in an impressive heat three outing. Eagles were missing former Warrior Mark Baseby but had sufficient strength in depth to negate his absence with new boy Ethan Spiller on his first visit to the Island catching the eye and proving what a shrewd signing he has been with the end of season play-offs looming.
Warriors’ co-promoter Barry Bishop reflected on a disappointing result, but a great night’s entertainment as he said, “A really good night of speedway and family fun. Some falls and retirements and tape problems didn’t help us but the boys gave it everything for an enthusiastic crowd. Well done to the Eagles who were just a bit better than us on the night. We must now prepare for our trip to Buxton on Sunday and we will continue our planning for the Wightlink September Showdown that will close our season at The Andrew Younie next Thursday”.
Warriors : Alfie Bowtell 8+1, Danno Verge 4, Scott Campos 9, Chris Widman 2+1, Ben Morley 13, Jamie Sealey 0, Shaun Tedham 2.
Eagles: Tom Brennan 10+1, Jason Edwards 8+1, Rider Replacement for Mark Baseby, Charley Powell 10+1, Georgie Wood 10, Ethan Spiller 8+3, Charlie Brooks 6+2.