'WIGHTLINK' WARRIORS & WIZARDS

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  • Rob Dyer

Preview: Three Team Tournament And Island Masters Conclude This Week


It’s another busy week for the Wightlink Warriors as the final legs of both the speedway three team tournament and the Island Masters grasstrack series reach their conclusions.


On Tuesday the Wightlink Warriors will be looking to turn around a five-point deficit as they tackle Cradley Heathens and Weymouth Wildcats for The Michael Richardson Trophy sponsored by Hampshire Apprenticeship Hairdressing Academy. Currently Cradley lead on 62 points with Weymouth on 60 and the Warriors on 57.


In the last round the home side looked to be getting back to their best and they will need to keep that improvement going, however inspirational number one Ben Morley is not available, and an equivalent standard guest rider is being lined up as cover. Danno Verge (pictured) will captain the side with Alex Spooner, Arran Butcher and Connor King in contention for a starting place.


Both visiting teams also have absence issues with Cradley’s Alfie Bowtell still on the injured list and Kelsey Dugard will step in as his replacement where he will join Connor Coles, Chris Watts and Tom Spencer. Weymouth are also seeking cover for the injured Ben Trigger, however almost unbelievably, George Congreve has declared himself fit only two weeks after being taken to hospital after what looked to be a serious crash in the Handicap meeting. Henry Atkins and Jacob Clouting will also feature in Wildcat colours.


Moving on to Thursday and the Island Masters third and final leg, it’s Arran Butcher leading the way with his closest rivals all returning to ride for a place in the Super Final for the four top scorers on aggregate over the three rounds. The top part of the current leader board looks like this:

Arran Butcher 23 points, Harry Gent 20, Dave Hammond 17, Luke Tuck 16, Dean Cutler 12, Henry Atkins 12, Chad Wirtzfeld 10, Ian Levington 9.


Wightlink Warriors co-owner Barry Bishop said, “We’ve got another packed week with two competitions being decided and both meetings are full of promise.


For our track team it’s been non-stop since Thursday. Following Chris Mackett’s horrible crash, making sure our safety fence has been restored to tip-top condition has been a priority. The Sunday update from Chris’ family was that he has been moved to the Intensive Care Unit at Southampton General Hospital where, in addition to treatment for rib, sternum and vertebrae injuries, an oxygen mask is supporting his breathing. Chris’ welfare continues to be upper-most in our minds, and we will provide further information when available.


Can I just remind supporters that if they wish, they can claim free admission on either Tuesday or Thursday by producing their admission ticket to last Thursday’s abandoned meeting. More than ever, we will be aiming for a value for money, family fun evening and I hope we have a bumper crowd to cheer the Warriors on.”


For both meetings, gates will open at 5.15 pm, fans can listen to the rider briefing at 5.45 pm before the youth section riders compete in their demonstration races around ten-past-six. The rider parade at 6.45 pm. will precede the main event at 7.00 pm. Drinks and refreshments will be available from either The Retreat snack bar or in The Premier Lounge.