Wightlink Warriors 23 Cradley Heathens 35 Weymouth Wildcats 32
The Wightlink Warriors opened their season with an entertaining three team tournament against nomadic clubs Cradley and Weymouth in the first leg of a three-leg tournament for The Michael Richardson Trophy.
Sadly, for the Island side success eluded them in this meeting as the all-round strength of both visiting teams saw them take top spots. Warriors team manager Steve Piper can be proud of the efforts of his quartet, but he will be ruing the fact that his charges could only produce four race wins on the night and more tellingly, his riders failed to score in eight of the fifteen races.
In a competitive meeting, aided by the innovative handicap system that was well exploited by the visitors, it was good to see Ben Morley and Connor King (pictured) back in the blue and yellow of the Warriors, but it was super quick Alfie Bowtell, Connor Coles and Henry Atkins who stole the headlines with their all action attacking style.
With two legs of the competition still to go later in the summer, there is still plenty of opportunity for the Warriors to strike back and it is to be hoped that Warriors Alex Spooner will be fit to carry on having hurt his shoulder in a fall late on in the meeting.
Warriors 23 (Ben Morley 11, Alex Spooner 1, Danno Verge 10, Connor King 1)
Heathens 35 (Alfie Bowtell 14, Tom Spencer 6+2, Connor Coles 13, Chris Watts 2)
Wildcats 32 (George Congreve 8+3, Jacob Clouting 4, Henry Atkins 13+1, Ben Trigger 7+1)
In the development challenge between the Wightlink Wizards and newly formed Wightlink Warlocks, the meeting outcome was decided in the last of the six races as the impressive Arran Butcher and James Laker combined to record a maximum 5-1 win to secure the Warlocks an historic victory. Local rider Kye Elliott, another product of ‘My First Skid’ speedway training school made his official debut, scoring points and making many in the stadium immensely proud of his progress to date.
Wizards 17 (Jamie Sealey 3+2, Vinny Branch 7, Sam Peters 1+1, Michael Austin 6)
Warlocks 19 (James Laker 8+1, Morgan Williams 0, Arran Butcher 9, Kye Elliott 2)
Picture by Ian Groves/Sportography