The Wightlink Warriors management have continued their pre-season planning by releasing confirmation that nomadic clubs Cradley and Weymouth will join the home side for this season’s three team tournament scheduled for Smallbrook Stadium on three dates this summer – namely 23 June, 28 July and 16 August – with the event being styled ‘The Vince Mapley Trophy’.
In making the announcement Wightlink Warriors co-owner Barry Bishop said, “Last year we had a great response to our three-team tournament with some close and spectacular racing. Therefore, it was essential that we brought it back into our 2022 calendar and with a new side and an uplift in the standard confirmed, I’m sure we will be in for three classic meetings.
As previously announced the Wightlink Warriors will be well represented by Danno Verge (captain) (pictured), Ben Morley, Alex Spooner and Connor King.
Martin (Widman – co-owner) and I are also delighted to welcome Weymouth Wildcats to our meetings and even happier to afford them another platform to highlight their club’s activity and efforts to return to racing. Similarly, we are thrilled that ebullient Andy Hawthorne will be returning with a quartet representing his beloved Cradley Heathens and he has wasted no time in recruiting Island favourites Alfie Bowtell and Chris Watts for his squad.
With Oxford, last year’s overall winners of the three-team tournament, amazingly having won their battle to return racing to Cowley Stadium – and we wish them all the very best with their revival – we will now rename our event to recognise a lifelong Wizards / Islanders / Warriors fan Vince Mapley, who although no longer with us, is at Smallbrook in spirit for every meeting. The teams will be fighting it out for the 2022 Vince Mapley Memorial Trophy, and it will be, I promise, amazing”.
Breaking off from his team building work, Cradley manager Andy Hawthorne was clearly relishing his summer trips to the Island as he said, “We had a super time participating in the Warriors three team event last year and I’m so grateful to Barry and Martin that they have asked us back again. The Island club are so welcoming in all aspects of their operation, and I really do hope that some Heathen fans will be able to make at least one trip to experience the Warrior Way. This year I’m planning a side that will be close contenders for The Vince Mapley Memorial Trophy and with Alfie and Chris already on board, we’ve made a solid start in bringing together a foursome to do the Heathens proud. It’s so important that we keep plugging away as we seek out a new home of our own and the opportunity to raise the Cradley flag in competitive action can do us no harm whatsoever”.
Weymouth Wildcats co-promoter Martin Peters was also looking forward to getting his charges involved in the event as he said, “James (Tresadern – Wildcats co-promoter) and I were so pleased to receive the invitation to compete. We have a great working relationship with the Warriors who have always been supportive of our efforts to re-establish speedway in our town and now we have a fantastic chance to showcase the Wildcats in a recognised competition alongside two other super teams. Whilst we have raced at Smallbrook before this is special and we are now contacting riders who we feel will be proud to represent us and deliver where it really matters – on track. We just can’t wait to get cracking”.