Meeting Result - Warriors 48 v Stoke 42 (NL)
It was a night of mixed fortunes for the Warriors and Wizards with the Warriors delivering a tense and exciting win in their National League fixture whilst the Wizards suffered a reverse at the hands of Carmarthen.
The Warriors left it late to secure the win over a plucky Potters outfit and had big guns Georgie Wood and Ben Morley to thank for securing all three league points. The visitors took the lead in heat three and were able to maintain a slender two point lead until heat thirteen when the unbeaten pair of Wood and Morley turned in the first of two match winning 5-1 heat advantages.
With a two point lead for the home side and just two races remaining it fell to Warriors Danno Verge to sweep to the front in a shared heat fourteen and set up a last race showdown. As expected, Wood and Morley were deployed for the home side whilst the Potters tracked former Islander Tom Perry and the impressive Joe Lawlor. The tension around the stadium was soon dispelled as the Warriors made the best starts and blasted away to their second 5-1 despite the earnest efforts of Perry who kept Morley up to his work throughout.
Whilst the victory was founded on Wood and Morley’s maximum contributions, there were some telling scores from the other Warriors with Connor King’s first winning race at Smallbrook being well received on the terraces. In fact, with the track in great condition, four of the home side were able to record their fastest times of the season in an exciting night’s racing.
After the meetings Warriors co-promoter Martin Widman said, “It’s a fantastic feeling to get our first league win. The track was is super condition, the boys were looking forward to racing on it and we had a good spirit in the pits. Whilst it would have been better if we could have built up a lead, we were quietly confident that we could get advantages in heats 13 and 15 and so it proved. We still have areas to work on; however we go to Plymouth in good heart and will give it our best shot as we always do.
Wightlink Warriors: Georgie Wood 15, Chris Widman 1, Ryan Terry-Daley 6+1, Danno Verge 7, Ben Morley 13+2, Connor King 4 and Chad Wirtzfeld 2.
Stoke: Tom Perry 8, Shelby Rutherford 4+1, Joe Lawlor 10, Luke Priest 6+3, Connor Coles 7, Aaron Butcher 1+1 and Joe Alcock 6+2.
Next up for the Warriors and Wizards is a trip to Plymouth tomorrow (Friday 24 May). The Warriors will take on the Gladiators in the National Trophy whilst the Wizards meet Exeter in the Development League.