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  • Rob Dyer

Meeting Preview - Warriors v Cradley (Knock-Out Cup)

The ‘Wightlink’ Warriors are back in action on Thursday (9 May) when they host Cradley in the first round of the Knock Out Cup. These two-legged matches will see the Island side visit Cradley at their Wolverhampton base on 20 May with the aggregate winners going on to meet either Kent or Belle Vue Colts at the semi-final stage.

In previous years the draw has never been kind to the Warriors and yet again this season, they have drawn one of the more favoured teams in the earliest stage of the competition. It is therefore vital that the Warriors make the most of home advantage in the first leg and build up a healthy lead going into the return.

The nomadic Heathens, still searching for a permanent base in or around the Dudley area of the West Midlands, have rejoined the National League for 2019 and have shrewdly recruited a side with potential to cause their opposition lots of problems. In Max Clegg and Danny Halsey they have former National League Riders Champions. They are joined by ever-improving Tom Brennan and together they form a strong spearhead whilst at reserve they will be tracking fifteen year old Harry McGurk, one of the brightest prospects from the GB youth set-up.

Warriors will be looking to deliver an improved performance following the reversal in their last home outing and whilst some bad luck and dusty conditions played there part on that night, the Island side will need to bounce back straight away, a fact not lost on co-promoter Barry Bishop who said, “Martin, Jackie and myself are still frustrated and disappointed about last week. We made decisions based on what turned out to be several totally inaccurate weather forecasts and as a result the track was under-watered and we learned from it, however the track was the same for both sets of riders and it was clear that the Gladiators adapted to the conditions more than the Warriors did, which is why they won. Fans, sponsors and management want to see that the team are hungry to win so rest assured we will be doing all we can to get things right both on and off track and we know we can’t sit back with the Heathens in town. They never give you an easy ride and backed by their hardy band of travelling supporters we will have to be at our best to get a good result”.

Warriors (from): Connor King, Ben Morley, Ryan Terry-Daley, Danno Verge, Chris Widman, Chad Wirtzfeld and Georgie Wood.

Heathens (from): Tom Brennan, Max Clegg, Danny Halsey, Luke Harris, Harry McGurk, Tom Spencer and Lewis Whitmore.

This week, for ANYONE aged 34, it is free admission as part of the weekly age initiative being run by the club. Proof of age is required at the turnstile to benefit from this promotion. Otherwise, the usual pricing and admission arrangements apply with gates opening at 5.30 pm ahead of the first race at 7.00 pm.


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