ISLE OF WIGHT 'Warriors' vs COVENTRY 'Bees'
National League : 10/05/2018
Warriors Need To Prevent A Bee Sting
The Isle of Wight ‘Wightlink Warriors' speedway fixture this Thursday (10 May) will see a return to National League action as the home side host the Coventry Bees at the Andrew Younie Smallbrook Stadium in Ryde. Gates open at 5.30 pm with the first race starting at 7.00 pm.
The sad demise of the once famous Brandon Stadium on the outskirts of Coventry – the result of ownership, neglect and planning wrangles - has left the East Midlands side homeless so in an attempt to keep the famous club alive, speedway promoter Mick Horton has struck a deal to operate a third tier side from the Leicester track in 2018 whilst strenuous attempts are in place to make good the problems back at Brandon.
The visitors arrive on the back of an away win at Buxton last Sunday and their solid side will be led by British under 21 silver medallist Connor Mountain. He will be supported by evergreen veteran Jon Armstrong and Danny Phillips who returns to action after missing most of last year with injury. The two Luke’s, Ruddick and Harris complete their top five with Jamie Halder and Scottish prospect Ryan MacDonald at reserve.
Warrior’s recent form has been an unexpected worry and they know that they will need to up their game for this meeting; however preparations are being hindered by the injury problem to Ben Hopwood. The Warriors skipper peeled off the track before the end of heat 15 last Thursday having been hit on the knuckle by an object thrown up from the track. Manchester based Hopwood has been receiving specialist help over the past week and is desperate to ride, but that decision is unlikely to be confirmed until the morning of the match. If Hopwood is ruled out, the rider replacement facility is the only facility available to the Warriors.
Asked for his thoughts ahead of the meeting Head Warrior Barry Bishop said, “This is our second league meeting and for the management it is a must win meeting. We have to keep pushing to put ourselves in the best position we can and everyone is expected to perform. Coventry have assembled a very handy outfit this year and have done well so far, so we should be under no illusion that they will not look at our recent form and expect to win. The Warriors know what they have to do and can do, now it’s time to do it.
And Warrior fans can continue to help by giving lots of vocal encouragement to the boys when they are out on track which seems like a good moment to mention the new ‘introduce a mate or family’ initiative that allows fans to bring guests with complimentary admission. Please see our website and Facebook page for all the details. I’m sure it will be a winner”.
Warriors: Ben Morley, Danno Verge, Scott Campos, Chris Widman, Ben Hopwood (or Rider Replacement), Shaun Tedham, Adam Portwood.
Bees: Connor Mountain, Luke Harris, Jon Armstrong, Luke Ruddick, Danny Phillips, Jamie Halder, Ryan MacDonald.
Battling Warriors Blunt The Bees Sting
Isle of Wight 50 Coventry 40
The Isle of Wight ‘Wightlink’ Warriors speedway team made it two home league wins out of two as they gradually took the sting out of the Coventry Bees after providing twelve race winners.
There was good news overnight that skipper Ben Hopwood was planning to race despite a troublesome knuckle injury, however pre-match preparation was hampered when Adam Portwood phoned in mid-morning to say that through a combination of factors, he would not be able to race in the evening. That created another opportunity for Jamie Sealey to have a run-out at reserve.
Coventry were expected to provide stern opposition and the opening five races saw honours even – that after Sealey slid off at high speed in heat two. He attempted a further obviously painful ride but then withdrew from the match on medical advice.
In a meeting full of cut and thrust action, it was good to see the Warriors making fast starts and then battling through from behind when necessary. As with the Belle Vue fixture a month ago, this was a very sound team performance with points coming from all areas. Ben Morley recorded another immaculate maximum, Danno Verge battled for every point, Chris Widman had his best meeting of the season, Shaun Tedham was effective at reserve and Ben Hopwood and Scott Campos were both dependable and spectacular when required.
After the meeting co-promoter Barry Bishop said, “we saw this as a must win meeting following some disappointing home results and I am delighted with our riders’ positive attitude. Losing Jamie was a blow but Shaun worked hard to provide cover and overall our teamwork both on and off track was excellent”.
Warriors: Ben Morley 15, Danno Verge 4, Scott Campos 10+1, Chris Widman 7+1, Ben Hopwood 10, Shaun Tedham 4+1, Jamie Sealey 0.
Bees: Connor Mountain 11, Luke Harris 3+1, Jon Armstrong 6, Luke Ruddick 7+3, Danny Phillips 6, Jamie Halder 3+2, Ryan MacDonald 4+1.