Its hats off and crowns on for the Kent Kings who won their crucial meeting against the Island side and in doing so took the National Trophy. Needing to win on the night by seven points or more, the Warriors came up well short of their target as the home side took a comprehensive victory and with it their first piece of national silverware.
It was always going to be a tough task against one of the National League’s more favoured sides, but in the same way as the Warriors hit the Kings hard at the start of last Thursdays meeting at Smallbrook, the home side reversed the roles and built up a twenty one point lead after eight races and barring a major catastrophe had one hand on the trophy.
With those first eight heat winners coming from the Kings creating seven heat advantages, it took a Warriors tactical substitute in the shape of Georgie Wood and skipper Ben Morley to halt the home team’s dominance in heat nine. Even a temporary starting gate malfunction that saw heats four and five started with elastic stretched across the track could not derail the Kings momentum.
So it was a frustrating night for all the Warriors, none more so than Wood who was on the wrong end of an opening heat 5-1, suffered an unexplained engine failure in his second ride, won his next two in style before grinding to a halt in heat 15 just after passing the Kings’ star man Drew Kemp.
After the meeting Warriors co-promoter Barry Bishop, still shaken by the score line said, “That was a huge disappointment. I really thought we could unsettle the Kings but we needed to do well in the first few heats and when we didn’t we struggled badly. Let’s be perfectly honest the best team won on the night and we say well done to the Kings as they take the limelight. More importantly for us, we need to re-group and prepare well for next Tuesday against Plymouth at home when crucial league points will be at stake”.
Kings: Drew Kemp 13, Rider Replacement for Alex Spooner, Andres Rowe 11+1, Richard Andrews 7+2, Rob Ledwith 12+1, Jacob Clouting 2 and Nathan Ablitt 9+2.
Warriors: Georgie Wood 7, Chris Widman 1, Ryan Terry-Daley 6+1, Danno Verge 5+1, Ben Morley 11+1, Chad Wirtzfeld 0 and Connor King 5.
The Wightlink Warriors next home meeting is on TUESDAY 11 June against Plymouth in the National League.