THE Isle of Wight Wightlink Warriors put on an exciting performance against their Midlands rivals to win their latest National League fixture at Smallbrook Stadium, Ryde, on Thursday evening.

The Warriors left it late to beat their plucky rivals with a superb, battling display of speedway.

The Islanders had big guns Georgie Wood and Ben Morley to thank for securing all three league points.

The Potters took the lead in the third heat and were able to maintain a slender two-point lead into Heat 13, when the unbeaten pair of Wood and Morley turned in the first of two match-winning 5-1 heat advantages.

With a two-point lead for the home side and just two races remaining, it fell to Danno Verge to sweep to the front in a shared 14th heat to set up an exciting final race showdown.

As expected, Wood and Morley were deployed for the home side, while the Potters tracked former Islander Tom Perry and the impressive Joe Lawlor.

The tension around the stadium was soon eased as the Warriors made the best starts — blasting away to earn another 5-1 victory, despite the efforts of Perry, who kept Morley on his toes throughout.

While the victory was founded on Wood and Morley’s superb contributions, there were some telling scores from the other Warriors, with Connor King’s first winning race at Smallbrook being well received on the terraces.

With the track in great condition, four of the home side were able to record their fastest times of the season in an exciting night’s racing.

Afterwards, Warriors co-promoter, Martin Widman, said: “It’s a fantastic feeling to get our first league win.

"The track was is super condition and the boys were looking forward to racing on it. We had a good spirit in the pits and, while it would have been better if we could have built up a lead, we were quietly confident we could get advantages in heats 13 and 15 — and so it proved.

"We still have areas to work on. However, we go to Plymouth in our next meeting in good heart and will give it our best shot, as we always do."

Unfortunately, the Wightlink Wizards were not able to emulate the Warriors' achievement, slipping to a 21-15 defeat at the hands of Carmarthen Dragons' more experienced side.

The match saw a multiple collision in its fifth race, when Carmarthen’s all-action rider, Tim Colley, got into difficulty on turn two and fell.

Wizards rider, Morgan Williams, acted instantly to lay his bike down to avoid the stricken Dragon, and with riders and machinery spread across the track, Luke Barnes (Carmarthen) and Ben Ilsley (Wizards), were both able to get their bikes down to avoid any further problems.

Those split-second reactions undoubtedly helped rescue a very awkward situation, with no serious injury or damage suffered during the crash.

Widman added: "It just didn’t happen. The Carmarthen riders were really sharp away from the tapes and, as hard as the Wizards chased, the Dragons just carried too much experience for us.

"Congratulations to them on the win, but we have a chance to put things right against Exeter.”       


Warriors: Georgie Wood 15, Ben Morley 13+2, Chris Widman 1, Ryan Terry-Daley 6+1, Danno Verge 7, Connor King 4 and Chad Wirtzfeld 2.

Wizards: Jamie Sealey 3, Morgan Williams 4+1, Chris Watts 6 and Ben Ilsley 2+1.