The most important individual speedway meeting of the season for National League riders took place this afternoon at Leicester and what an afternoon it turned out to be as the ‘Wightlink’ Warriors Ben Morley secured the title after beating team mate Alfie Bowtell in a first place showdown.
In a line up that was jam packed with the best available riders in the league, choosing a likely winner was no easy task. Many had Mildenhall wizz-kid Drew Kemp down as the rider to beat but his afternoon turned sour after only two races blighted by mechanical issues and a crashing fall that saw him withdraw from the meeting. Another pre-meeting favourite was home number one Connor Mountain representing Coventry and that view looked to be well founded as he raced unbeaten to four quick wins before facing up to Bowtell in a crucial heat 20.
With Morley looking on from the pits having racked up 14 impressive points from his five rides, Bowtell on 11 points did his team mate a huge favour with a jet propelled start that put him clear of the pack and vitally in front of Mountain who, try as he might, could not move out of third place. So with Morley and Bowtell both ending on 14, the Warriors were assured of having the winner with Mountain clear in third place overall.
And so to a fantastic final race with Morley leading off the gate only to be hustled and harried by Bowtell. Both riders were definitely on ‘full gas’ and Bowtell sneaked in front on lap 3 but he ran wide on the first two bends of the last lap and snagged the fence at high speed, crashing out but fortunately without any serious damage.
This was not the first time that Ben Morley has tasted success in this meeting as he took the title in 2015. Immediately after racing Ben said, “I’m made up with that. We’ve been set up well all afternoon and I was happy with the inside gate for the run off. Going up against Alfie was really tough. He’s been on fire this weekend and to be fair he might have won it if he hadn’t run in too hot on lap 4. I’m also really pleased that we got a one two for the Warriors. Barry and everyone on the Island have been great to ride for and it’s nice to do this for them”.
Scores: Ben Morley (IOW) 14, Alfie Bowtell (IOW) 14, Connor Mountain (Coventry) 13, Jack Thomas (Kent) 10, Mark Baseby (Eastbourne) 8, Max Clegg (Stoke) 8, Tom Perry (Belle Vue) 8, Georgie Wood (Eastbourne) 8, Ryan Kinsley (Mildenhall) 7, Jon Armstrong (Coventry) 6, Nathan Stoneman (Kent) 6, Tom Woolley (Buxton) 5, Henry Atkins (Plymouth) 4, Kyle Bickley (Belle Vue) 4, Sheldon Davies (Birmingham) 1, Drew Kemp (Mildenhall) 0.