Wightlink Warriors 26, Cradley 27, Oxford 37

THE Warriors struggled to reproduce the stellar performance which saw them take a healthy lead in the first leg of their three-team tournament against Cradley Heathens and Oxford Cheetahs.

On Thursday, August 12, the better-balanced Cheetahs eased away for a comfortable win in leg two, and are now well placed to strike in the final at Smallbrook on Tuesday, August 24.

The Warriors' downfall could have been predicted, with new recruit and solid scorer, Alex Spooner, forced out of the event for an urgent medical assessment.

It meant rookie Wightlink Wizard, Jamie Evans, was called upon in Spooner’s absence, and while he plugged away gamely, he found the pace to be a little too hot.

Another to find the points harder to come by was Morgan Williams, who was the only rider in the main event to take a fall.

This left the speedy Chad Wirtzfeld and Danno Verge to score all the home team's points, setting up an intriguing final leg.

Spooner’s absence left the door open for Oxford, injury ravaged in the first leg, to make use of their revamped line-up with former Warrior, Connor Coles, returning to his old stomping ground in blistering fashion.

Fourteen hard earned points and the fastest race time of the season ­— 69.9 seconds ­— were just reward.

The aggregate scores after two legs see the Wightlink Warriors in the lead on 67, with Oxford (60) and Cradley (53) trailing.

In the support races, Stasiu Stevens took three wins in the PeeWee class, whilst Kye Elliott’s demonstration races came to an abrupt halt when he fell heavily in his second outing.

After medical attention, he was able to walk back to the pits.

A further round of the Upright Challenge saw team Weslake crush team Jawa.

Three women's races were all won convincingly by the Island’s very own Steph Whitlock in impressive style.

Racing was rounded off with a demonstration ride by Bruce Cribb, on a scary ice racing speedway machine.

Scorers: Wightlink Warriors 26 - Chad Wirtzfeld (14), Jamie Evans (0), Danno Verge (12), Morgan Williams (0); Team Weslake 25 - Keith Cornell (8), Graham Wilson (6+1), Graham Knowler (6+1), Mark Anderson (5+3); Team Jawa 11 - Nigel Coates (8), David Hollingsbee (1), Martin Tappenden (2), Keith Hill (0).