The Wightlink Warriors three team speedway tournament at Smallbrook Stadium concluded yesterday evening with the homeless team representing Cradley Heath racing away to secure a convincing victory over the home side and Weymouth Wildcats and in doing so collected The Michael Richardson Trophy.
Going into the last leg of the series, the Heathens (pictured by Sportography with team manager Andy Hawthorne on left and sponsor Kay Richardson on the right) held a two-point advantage over Weymouth and a five-point lead over the Warriors, but it soon became clear that they had every intention of living up to their well-known mantra – ‘ommer ‘em Cradley. Their solid quartet delivered crucial points at vital times aided in no small measure by some astute moves when deploying their nominated and handicap riders.
The Warriors and Wildcats were left ruing the absence of key riders. With Warriors number one Ben Morley unavailable, his deputy returnee Scott Campos tried hard but couldn’t replicate Morley’s normally heavy contribution whilst the Wildcats were forced into using inexperienced locally based Morgan Williams as cover for injured racer Ben Trigger.
Morning rain had cleared, and the naturally watered track produced some quick times with Cradley’s Connor Coles returning 14 spectacular points whilst Weymouth’s Henry Atkins was equally impressive blasting to five unbeaten rides in the fastest time of 68.7 seconds.
Wightlink Warriors co-owner Barry Bishop was quick to congratulate the Heathens as he said, “Well done Andy Hawthorne and the Cradley boys on taking The Michael Richardson Trophy. They were very consistent over all three legs and proved to be the best team overall.
You have to admire Andy and his associates as they work tireless to rebuild their club in the local area. James (Tresadern) and Martin (Peters) are in the same boat at Weymouth. These teams need a platform to show that they are alive and kicking and I’m so pleased that we can offer them the possibility of turning a dream into reality”.
Cradley 37 – Connor Coles 14, Chris Watts 3+1, Tom Spencer 8+3, Kelsey Dugard 12+1.
Weymouth 27 – George Congreve 8+1, Jacob Clouting 4+1, Henry Atkins 15, Morgan Williams 0.
IOW 26 – Scott Campos 6+1, Arran Butcher 10+2, Danno Verge 7+1, Connor King 3+1.
Aggregate: Cradley 99, Weymouth 87, IOW 83.
Speedway action at Smallbrook resumes tomorrow (Thursday) with the final round of the Island Masters Competition.