ISLE OF WIGHT 'Warriors' vs KENT 'Kings'
ISLE OF WIGHT 'Warriors' vs KENT 'Kestrels'
Southern Development League
Battered Warriors In Royal Showdown
This week’s speedway action on Thursday sees the Isle of Wight ‘Wightlink’ Warriors entertain the Kent Kings at the Andrew Younie Smallbrook Stadium.
This National League fixture gives the Warriors a chance to avenge the twenty four point defeat handed out by the Kent team when they last visited at the end of May – a night that saw the visitors’ nineteen points in front after only five races following a whole series of falls, mechanical issues, disqualifications and injuries to the home side.
Revenge may be a tall order as it will be a battered and bruised home side that come to tapes. Indeed there is still some uncertainty of the final line up as the roll call of wounded looks this way. Ben Morley, after two big crashes last week, hopes to be able to ride. Scott Campos suffered a reaction to the carnage of heat 10 at Mildenhall last Sunday and is nursing a knee problem with a late call on his availability to be made. Chris Widman will definitely miss the meeting following the broken wrist sustained at Wolverhampton on Monday evening. Shaun Tedham’s back spasms appear to be easing and he too is hoping to ride.
The Kings bring the same septet who were victorious on the Island last time with bags of fire power from the impressive Kevin Bowen, Jack Thomas and Nathan Stoneman, supported by improving teenagers Anders Rowe and Taylor Hampshire.
Club co-promoter Barry Bishop said: ‘I see this as a must win meeting for the Warriors and with Chris now sidelined and Scott a doubt, the team are really up against it. We have already begun to search for a temporary replacement for Chris, but quite literally there are no riders available at the moment so for now it will be Rider Replacement.
Kent bring a team that like to ride on the Island and perform well so it will be a huge challenge but I completely believe in our side and they have our total backing. They will take to the track determined to do their best, as they always do, and with a little luck and the whole-hearted support of our magnificent fans, who knows, we might just come out on top’.
Warriors (probable) : Ben Morley, Danno Verge, Scott Campos, Rider Replacement - Chris Widman, Alfie Bowtell, William O’Keefe, Shaun Tedham.
Kings: Luke Bowen, Taylor Hampshire, Jack Thomas, Anders Rowe, Nathan Stoneman, Nick Laurence and Alex Spooner.
Straight after the Warriors meeting, the ‘Wightlink’ Wizards will be on track for their second home meeting in the Southern Development League as they take on the Kent Kestrels. Island based riders Morgan Williams and James Luckman are both expected to be lining up for the Wizards as they tackle their Kent counterparts in the six heat fixture.
As usual, gates will open at 5.30, open pit access from 5.45 to 6.15, pre-meeting demonstration rides from 6.15 ahead of the parade of riders with the tapes up at 7.00 pm.
Warriors Fight Back Comes Too Late
Isle of Wight 42 Kent 48
As had been the case some six weeks ago when Kent Kings last visited the Island for a National Trophy speedway fixture, the ‘Wightlink’ Warriors were slow to start this National League meeting which tonight allowed the visitors to establish an early twelve point lead after just five heats.
That head start proved too big an obstacle for the Warriors to overcome but it turned out to be a valiant effort from the home side that had several riders carrying knocks from recent accidents.
A healthy crowd were treated to some all action racing with plenty of passing from both sides. Warrior’s new boy Alfie Bowtell was again aggressive and assured with just one defeat in five races. Ben Morley, clearly suffering from his recent wrist dislocation, kept plugging away manfully, as did all the side right down to the reserves.
Kent were well served by Jack Hampshire and surprise packet Taylor Hampshire whilst their top man Luke Bowen had a night of frustration, twice being penalised for delaying the start of races.
Warrior’s co-promoter Barry Bishop was not disheartened by his team’s determined display. He said after the meeting, “That was a super speedway meeting full of good racing from everyone, spiced with a little controversy, but from our perspective another disappointing home reversal. You could see a couple of our guys weren’t 100% and considering the buffeting they’ve taken recently I’m not surprised nevertheless I am proud of the way they kept at it and I cannot fault their commitment”.
Warriors – Ben Morley 10+2, Rider Replacement for Chris Widman, Scott Campos 7, Danno Verge 5, Alfie Bowtell 14, William O’Keefe 3, Shaun Tedham 3+3, Jamie Cousins 0.
Kings – Luke Bowen 7+2, Taylor Hampshire 10+1, Jack Thomas 13, Anders Rowe 7+1, Nathan Stoneman 6, Nick Laurence 0, Alex Spooner 5+1.
Wizards 6 Kestrels 30
The vastly more experienced Kent side, tracking two riders from their National League team, were just too good for the Wizards and the home riders had no answer to the starting ability of the visitors who recorded maximum heat wins in all six races.
Joint team manager Kev Shepherd said, "We knew this would be a very difficult fixture given the way Kent have chosen to construct their side. All I can say is that our riders gave it their best shot and whilst a bit shell shocked now, we will work with them as they grow and become more accomplished".