IOW 34 Weymouth 28 Cradley 27
A large holiday crowd were on hand to witness the Wightlink Warriors deliver a solid performance to take leg two of their three team tournament against Cradley and Weymouth and they now stand only five points behind the Midlands side who are the pace setters going into the final leg.
The Warriors went into the meeting with Arran Butcher covering for the injured Alex Spooner and he continued his improving form with a nine-point return, featuring in two 5-1 advantages with Ben Morley (pictured) who was also in good shape with 11 points. Warriors skipper Danno Verge was his usual consistent self with eight points whilst ‘Mr Unpredictable’ Connor King registered six points with a race win in that total.
In fairness the two visiting sides encountered some pre-meeting problems. Weymouth lost the services of Jacob Clouting and Ben Trigger and brought in race-rusty Paul Bowen plus inexperienced Sam Peters, whilst Cradley were worse off as both Alfie Bowtell and Tom Spencer were non-starters with Kelsey Dugard and James Jessop stepping in at the last minute.
Once the racing got underway there was plenty of close quarter action especially when Morley, Connor Coles (Cradley), Henry Atkins and George Congreve (Weymouth) were on track. The handicap system used made the big hitters work hard for their points and they featured in the standout races of the night although for one man heat 13 will have special memories – Chris Watts (representing Cradley) secured his first race win at this level and that will have delighted those who have followed his dedication and progress, much of it through the Island’s speedway school My First Skid.
The third and final round of the series takes place at Smallbrook on the 16th of August with the destination of the Michael Richardson Trophy still in the balance.
Warriors: Ben Morley 11+2, Arran Butcher 9+2, Danno Verge 8+2, Connor King 6+1.
Wildcats: George Congreve 13+1, Paul Bowen 2+1, Henry Atkins 12, Sam Peters 1.
Heathens: Kelsey Dugard 8+1, James Jessop 1, Connor Coles 14, Chris Watts 4.
Aggregate scores: Cradley 62, Weymouth 60, IOW 57.
Also on track last night were the women taking part in the second round of their British Championship. As in round 1 the ladies put on a brave show for the spectators with first round leader Taya Thirtle retaining her overall serious lead however this has now been reduced to just one point by Katie Gordon (pictured) who delivered an unbeaten show on the night delivering a telling pass on Thirtle when the two met towards the end of the meeting. Island racer Steph Whitlock improved her overall position to third place with the chance of a podium place a real possibility when the final round takes place at Smallbrook next Tuesday evening.
Women’s Scorers: Katie Gordon 9, Taya Thirtle 8, Steph Whitlock 7, Roksana Brzeska 5, Charlotte Brooks 4, Anastasia Salle 2, Ruth Holder-Smith 1.
Aggregate Scores: Taya Thirtle 16, Katie Gordon 15, Steph Whitlock 12, Charlotte Brooks 11, Roksana Brzeska 8, Anastasia Sallee 6, Ruth Holder-Smith 1.
Warrior’s co-owner Barry Bishop said “What a great night of super speedway and family fun. Well done to our Warriors on an improved performance and commiserations to Cradley and Weymouth who were a bit under strength. Yet again the ladies were fantastic, and I just love their enthusiasm and togetherness.
Special thanks to our sponsors Chesil Radio and Jason Waring and I am thrilled we were able to give our special guest Jessica Young a true Warrior Way experience helped hugely by the cooperation of all three teams.
Let’s do it all again on Tuesday.”