Facing a 30 point deficit from the away leg of their speedway Knock Out Cup tie against Eastbourne, the Isle of Wight Warriors tried hard to contain the reigning cup holders but eventually had to concede the tie and the match to the much-fancied Eagles septet.
The home side were dealt a blow when Adam Portwood called off with illness forcing the Warriors to draft in Josh Embleton, a promising Geordie junior, who almost made a magical start as he led heat two for three laps before being swamped by the startled Eagles.That would have been an ideal start to back up Ben Morley’s opening race win – one of five from the Warriors number one on his way to a full and impressive maximum – however it was not to be and once the Eagles had nosed in front, it was always going to be tough for the Warriors to rein back the National League cup kings.
Warriors heat leader trio of Morley, Ben Hopwood and Scott Campos worked hard to register good scores, but with the visiting reserves outscoring their home counterparts by 16 to 2, the Warriors middle order needed to step-up but were found wanting.
Team Manager Jackie Vatcher said, “I don’t want to keep on, but it’s early days yet and we know we have to do better tomorrow at Plymouth than our last away performance at Eastbourne”.
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After the main meeting, riders from the newly formed Wightlink Wizards were introduced to the crowd and Chris Watts, Ben Ilsley, James Luckman and Morgan Williams rode three demonstration heats as the squad prepare for action in the Southern Development League.
There is no rest for the Warriors as they head off to Plymouth tomorrow (Friday) for a National Trophy fixture with Embleton continuing to deputise for Portwood.