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  • Rob Dyer

Meeting Previews - Warriors v Leicester (NL) & Wizards v Birmingham (MSDL)

The ‘Wightlink’ Warriors and Wizards conclude their home league fixtures this Thursday (29 August) as they entertain Leicester Lion Cubs in the National League and Birmingham Bulls in the Midlands & Southern Development League. Both visiting sides top their respective league tables so the home outfits will need to be on top form if they are to fulfil the management’s wish to end with two Smallbrook wins.

With the Warriors anxious to put last Sunday’s disappointing Best Pairs meeting behind them, home fans will be concerned to see that Georgie Wood will again miss this meeting and it is understood that the club will be clarifying the position in a statement to be released shortly. In Wood’s absence on Thursday, the Warriors have booked talented Mildenhall rider Jason Edwards to fill the number one position with the rest of the line-up as usual.

The Lion Cubs, runners-up in the National Pairs competition, will be led by Danyon Hume, so impressive whilst guesting for the Warriors last week, however tall scoring Ellis Perks will miss the meeting as he is required for higher league duty at Swindon so Kent fire-cracker Anders Rowe will deputise. The visitors will also miss the solid scoring of Luke Ruddick who has been stood down as a result of concussion and in a further twist Leicester reserve Ryan Macdonald will miss the trip as he cannot secure time off from his job in Scotland. That opens the door for Wizard Chris Watts to plug a gap and gain more valuable track time and Thursday will also give Island fans their first chance to see the highly rated Thompson twins who have moved from reserve to main team already this year whilst lurking in the number seven berth is former Warrior Ryan Terry-Daley who could be very influential on the outcome of the meeting.

After the short notice call off of last week’s Development League fixture between the Wizards and the Bulls, the sides will try again this week as the visitors look to hold on to top spot in the division, however they will face a confident Wizard quartet who are perfectly capable of signing off with a good win.

Warrior’s co-promoter Barry Bishop said, “Well we couldn’t have picked two tougher opponents to end our league seasons with. I know the Lion Cubs have one or two team problems for this match, but we must not under-estimate them in any way. They top this league having been very astute in the way that they have built their team nevertheless I know our seven riders are more than capable of taking a win and if we can repeat the application and determination shown against Belle Vue last week we will be fine.

Then we have the Wizards against the Bulls. Our Wizards have a great chance of finishing off with another win and more league points so I hope our fans will stay on after the main match and give the youngster the huge support they deserve following another year of improvement and progression.

Can I just say that we appreciate our supporters’ patience and disappointment at not seeing Georgie Wood in Warrior colours recently. Just as soon as Martin and I feel able to make a clear, factual statement on this matter we will do so”.

Warriors: Jason Edwards, Chad Wirtzfeld, Scott Campos, Danno Verge, Ben Morley, Connor King, Chris Widman.

Lion Cubs: Danyon Hume, Rider Replacement for Luke Ruddick, Joe Thompson, Dan Thompson, Anders Rowe, Chris Watts, Ryan Terry-Daley.

Wizards: Chad Wirtzfeld, Morgan Williams, Chris Watts, Jamie Sealey.

Bulls: Aaron Butcher, TBC, Jacob Fellows, Luke Muff.

The on-going age promotion giving free admission to the meeting will be in place and anyone who is 31 will be 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 pre-meeting activities and the first race at 7.00 pm.


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