Meeting Result - Warriors 39 v Mildenhall 51 (NL) & Wizards 23 v Reading 13 (MSDL)
The Isle of Wight teams had mixed fortunes in last night’s league action as the depleted Warriors fought valiantly to match the much stronger Fen Tigers whilst the Wizards turned in an impressive performance to see off a useful Racer quartet.
Warriors went into this meeting on the back foot. With Danno Verge sidelined because of concussion protocols following his spill at Kent on Monday, the home side were dealt a massive blow when high scoring Georgie Wood called off around 11.00 am having failed to respond sufficiently to early morning treatment on neck and back problems. With time against them, and despite rigorous efforts, the Warriors management failed to secure a guest replacement for Wood and were forced to introduce junior rider William O’Keefe for a baptism of fire.
The meeting opened with a fair splattering of rain and as if this was an omen, the Warriors bad luck did not stop there because they lost Scott Campos after a spectacular fall in heat 5. Campos was clearly shaken by the impact of the fall and his absence for the remainder of the match left effectively home four riders to tackle a Mildenhall side that made full use of the facilities available to them to cover for two of their missing riders.
Tracking Island specialists Danny Ayres and Nathan Stoneman plus the rejuvenated Henry Atkins, Mildenhall always looked to have the top end fire power to amass plenty of race wins and so it proved, but make no mistake, each and every one of the plucky Warriors gave their all for the cause with captain Ben Morley top of the pile with 17 points, Chad Wirtzfeld showing bags of determination and passing ability and Chris Widman continuing his recent improvement with two race wins. Had both sides tracked their usual seven man line-ups, there was plenty of optimism on the terraces the Warriors would have run out winners on the night.
Wightlink Warriors: Rider Replacement for Georgie Wood, Chad Wirtzfeld 7+1, Scott Campos 1, William O’Keefe 1, Ben Morley 17, Connor King 2+1 and Chris Widman 11.
Mildenhall: Danny Ayres 18, Matt Marson 5+2, Rider Replacement for Jason Edwards, Nathan Stoneman 10+2, Henry Atkins 12, Aaron Butcher 2 and Macauley Leek 4.
Lighting up the conclusion to the evening’s racing was the Wightlink Wizards comprehensive victory over the Reading Racers who tracked the experienced Nick Laurence and current Plymouth rider Jamie Bursill. The Racers were relying on those two to hold the Wizards at bay, but with Chad Wirtzfeld taking three straight forward wins (incidentally his seventh, eighth and ninth rides on the night) and Morgan Williams, Jamie Sealey and Chris Watts all making telling overtakes, the Wizards were home and hosed with one race in
Wightlink Wizards: Chad Wirtzfeld 9, Morgan Williams 3+2, Jamie Sealey 5+1, Chris Watts 6+1.
Reading: Nick Laurence 2, Rhys Laker 1, William O’Keefe 2+1, Jamie Bursill 8.