The 'Wightlink' Warriors return to National League speedway action on Thursday (27 June) with the Kent Kings visiting for the second time this season and that will be followed by six heats of Development League action as the ‘Wightlink’ Wizards host Weymouth Wildcats.
Kent, early season league title favourites with many pundits, already have one piece of silverware on display having secured the National Trophy earlier this month, however their quest for Knock Out Cup glory came to an end on Monday evening when beaten on aggregate by Belle Vue Colts.
Despite that set back, the Kings have shown remarkable resilience to overcome longer term injuries to hot shot Dan Gilkes and promising Alex Spooner (now back in the saddle), however his return coincides with the enforced absence of influential reserve Nathan Ablitt who will have to sit out the next three weeks to meet concussion protocols. With the determined teenage trio of Drew Kemp, Anders Rowe and Jordan Jenkins all stepping up under the guidance of evergreen skipper Rob Ledwith, the Kings look to have weathered their troubles and it goes without saying that they will be looking for a win on the Island.
One meeting that didn’t go the Kings way was their last visit to Smallbrook in the National Trophy when the Warriors started at breakneck pace and built a fourteen point lead after seven heats before being reeled in. Warriors held on for a six point win and the resolve on show that night and at Plymouth last Friday will need to be repeated if the visitors are to be sent home winless this week. Warriors have again named their normal one to seven for home meetings.
An additional attraction on Thursday is another Midland & Southern Development League fixture for the Wizards who meet Weymouth. Last time out the Wizards were commanding winners against Milton Keynes in a meeting raced at Birmingham and there is a quiet air of confidence that they can take a first home win of the season and make it back to back wins.
Anticipating a bumper programme of racing, Warriors co-promoter Barry Bishop said “This week we take on the Kent Kings who won the National Trophy when they out fought us at their track. They are one of the better sides in this League with a good record here and we should take those factors as our motivation to deliver a solid team performance. I’m sure they won’t make such a slow start like they did last time they were here and I have a feeling this will be a nail biting meeting for both sets of fans. That said, the Warriors can win this one and if everyone performs to the best of their ability we can send our fans home happy.
Then we also have the Wizards to look forward to. The boys are absolutely buzzing after last week’s away win and they have never been more determined to register a home win. It will also be an opportunity for me to welcome the Wildcats management duo of James Tresadern and Martin Peters who are so determined to find the Wildcats a home in Dorset. They have our full backing and we wish them well with an unenviable task”.
Warriors: Georgie Wood, Chris Widman, Ryan Terry-Daley, Danno Verge, Ben Morley, Connor King and Chad Wirtzfeld.
Kings: Drew Kemp, Alex Spooner, Anders Rowe, Jordan Jenkins, Rob Ledwith, Jacob Clouting and No.7 to be confirmed.
Wizards: Jamie Sealey, Morgan Williams, Chris Watts and Ben Ilsley.
Wildcats: James Laker, Sam Peters, Andrew Palmer and Ceska Kirtley-Paine.The on-going age promotion giving free admission to the meeting will be in place and anyone who is 19 is welcome to take up this offer on production of proof of age. Otherwise the usual pricing and admission arrangements apply with gates opening at 5.30 pm ahead of the first race at 7.00 pm.