ISLE OF WIGHT 'Warriors' vs KENT 'Kings'

National Trophy : 24/05/2018


Warriors Need To Counter The Kings


This week’s speedway action sees the Isle of Wight ‘Wightlink’ Warriors entertain the Kent Kings at the Andrew Younie Smallbrook Stadium.


This National Trophy fixture sees a very youthful Kent side visit the Island where previous matches between the two sides have always been very close run affairs.  Kent will rely on the experience of Luke Bowen to guide his younger colleagues and he will no doubt be receiving full support from former Warrior Nathan Stoneman and fast improving Jack Thomas.


Following two defeats on the road at Coventry and Birmingham, the home side will miss high scoring Ben Morley who is away on Championship duty with Lakeside so a guest replacement will be used in the shape of flamboyant showman Danny Ayres.  Lower down the Warriors order, Adam Portwood is again missing and Geordie Josh Embleton will get another run out at reserve.


Team Manager Jackie Vatcher writing in this week’s match programme explains Portwood’s recent absence, “Adam has decided to step down from the team for a few weeks as he is struggling from a lack of confidence and also finding it difficult to make racing pay.  He will take some time out to decide what his future entails”.


Immediately after the Warriors battling defeat at Birmingham tonight co-promoter Barry Bishop said, “Those were two really testing away trips and I am delighted how well the boys bounced tonight after an uncomfortable defeat at Coventry.  With new averages coming soon we will look at our options, but the first priority must be to secure a win against Kent tomorrow.  We have always had exciting battles with the Kings on the Island so we have a very quick chance to get back on the front foot, continue to ride with pride and passion and deliver a result for our fantastic fans”.


Warriors: Danny Ayres, Danno Verge, Scott Campos, Chris Widman, Ben Hopwood, Josh Embleton, Shaun Tedham.


Kings: Luke Bowen, Anders Rowe, Nathan Stoneman, Taylor Hampshire, Jack Thomas, Nick Laurence and Alex Spooner.


Kings Are Regal As Warriors Wilt


Isle of Wight 32 Kent 56


Despite an afternoon of light rain, speedway went ahead as planned and regrettably for the home side a heavy defeat was meted out by the Kent Kings due almost entirely to their whirlwind start being 19 points to the good after only five races.


That advantage was achieved as a result of the visitors determined riding coupled closely to a catalogue of Warrior misfortune of almost every type imaginable with the inevitable consequence that there was no way back into the meeting.


Whilst Danno Verge strived manfully for the home side and Josh Embleton did as much as could be expected of a junior rider, other Warriors struggled.  Stand in number one Danny Ayres suffered two engine failures from winning positions, Scott Campos suffered shoulder damage in his first outing and had to withdraw from the meeting, Chris Widman and Shaun Tedham suffered falls and retirements and Ben Hopwood was controversially disqualified in heat four after a very close tussle with Kent’s Jack Thomas.


With visiting riders winning thirteen of the fifteen races and their heat-leaders particularly strong, it was no wonder that Warriors Team Manager Jackie Vatcher looked shell shocked as she said, “The first five heats did for us and cost us any hope of being able to compete tonight.  I’ve never known a meeting where so many things went against us so quickly.  Fair play to Kent who made the most of our problems, but we are better than we showed tonight – we must start showing it”.




Warriors – Danny Ayres 7, Danno Verge 8+2, Scott Campos 0, Chris Widman 4, Ben Hopwood 5, Josh Embleton 4+2, Shaun Tedham 4+1.


Kings – Luke Bowen 10, Anders Rowe 8+1, Nathan Stoneman 12, Taylor Hampshire 5, Jack Thomas 13+1, Nick Laurence 4, Alex Spooner 4+2.

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