The ‘Wightlink’ Warriors & Wizards will be returning from the Midlands with league points following the Warriors nail biting draw with the Potters and the Wizards convincing win over the Dragons.
The Warriors headed north without Danno Verge who has been feeling the effects of his big crash at Kent at the start of August. It was clear to see from his lowly two point return on Thursday night that his usual zip and determination was missing and he has made the sensible decision to take a bit of time off to fully recover from what was a massive accident. In his absence the Rider Replacement facility was used giving all the other Warriors with the exception of guest Jack Smith the chance of an additional ride.
The meeting itself was a terrific advert for National League speedway with the Warriors overcoming an early deficit to lead by four points after heat 11. Heats 12 and 13 went the way of the Potters who took the lead 40-38 only to be pegged back to 42-42 as Chris Widman and Scott Campos delivered a 4-2 in heat 14 to ensure a last heat decider. Step forward ‘Captain Cool’ Ben Morley to hold his nerve in a restarted race and see off the incessant challenge of home skipper Tom Perry. With Jack Smith just failing to overcome Connor Coles the match ended in a draw and two league points for the visitors.
Those points leave the Warriors on 21 and fourth in the league table. That is the final play-off spot and they now face an agonising wait whilst the chasing clubs complete their meetings.
Potters: Tom Perry 13, Shelby Rutherford 0, Joe Lawlor 10, Luke Priest 5+2, Connor Coles 10+2, Kieran Douglas 1+1, Joe Alcock 6+1.
Warriors: Jack Smith 7, Chad Wirtzfeld 5+2, Scott Campos 6, Rider Replacement for Danno Verge, Ben Morley 16, Chris Widman 9+2, Connor King 2+1.
Clearly boosted by the efforts of their Warrior colleagues, the Wizards then went out and secured another away win with a super team effort as James Luckman joined the squad following Morgan Williams’ withdrawal with bike problems following his incident last Thursday. Wizards now sit third in the Development League table and can consolidate that position with a win in their final match against Weymouth at Poole on 12 September.
Dragons: Danny Woodward 10, Lawrence Fielding 0, Tim Colley 2, Ben Phillips 2.
Wizards: Chad Wirtzfeld 9, James Luckman 3+1, Jamie Sealey 5+2, Chris Watts 5.
Writing on Facebook after the meeting Kevin Shepherd commented, "Our riders were superb tonight and every point mattered. We did miss Danno but the lads did their best for all our missing Warriors. I’m thrilled that the Wizards also put on a great show and a special thanks to all those that came and supported the lads. It was great to see the Warrior shirts around the stadium”.
The next action at Smallbrook will be a Wightlink themed three team tournament on Thursday (5 September).