THE Isle of Wight Wightlink Warriors brought a busy week of speedway action to a tense climax as they drew their National Trophy fixture at Plymouth in a final race showdown.

Thanks to dynamic track duo Georgie Wood and Ben Morley, Warriors fans had something to cheer as their encouraging start to the new season continued.

In dry and dusty conditions, the Islanders battled hard to keep the scores close and, heading into Heat 13, the Warriors were only four points behind as Wood and Morley came to the tapes.

At the first attempt to run the race, former Warrior, Nathan Stoneman, now racing for Plymouth, clipped Morley and was disqualified.

In the re-run, another former Warrior at Plymouth, Ben Wilson, managed to slide between the Warriors but Morley found a beautiful line to pass Wilson and join Wood to gain maximum points and level the scores at 39-39 with two races remaining.

On paper, Heat 14 looked as if it could go either way, but unfortunately for the Islanders, the Gladiators made the better starts and, despite Danno Verge’s best efforts, he could not make a telling pass.

Into the final, deciding race, the Warriors' mission — a 5-1 win to level the meeting — needed speedway from the top drawer.

Unbeaten Wood, unsurprisingly, was teamed up with skipper Morley to take on Stoneman and Richard Andrews. Just 24 hours earlier, the Warriors had faced a similar crucial race to secure a victory over Stoke, and yet again, the Warriors duo delivered the maximum required, with Wood completing his second successive five-ride maximum and Morley registering paid 13.

In contrast to the Warriors' pleasing results, the Wightlink Wizards couldn’t find quite enough fire power to clip the Exeter Falcons wings, who beat the Islanders 2-15 in the Development League.

With Connor King stepping into the side and delivering 11 points, sadly, meaningful back-up was missing as the Falcons eased to a steady win.

Speaking on behalf of the Warriors' management team after the meetings, Isle of Wight speedway co-promoter, Barry Bishop said: “We were absolutely delighted with the Warriors tonight. For the first time since promoting Island speedway, I have seen early dropped heads change to hungry heads, and that was shown in the result, because we kept the meeting tight — never letting the Gladiators gain any real momentum.

"It was a case of great teamwork. Every rider scored points, which made the result possible. Every rider should be proud of their efforts.

"I also thought the Wizards rode well and, with a little more fortune, would have been pushing for a point or a win.

"All in all, it was a very proud night for the Isle of Wight."


Warriors: Georgie Wood 15, Chris Widman 3, Ryan Terry-Daley 6, Danno Verge 5+2, Ben Morley 11+2, Chad Wirtzfeld 1+1 and Connor King 4+1.

Wizards: Jamie Sealey 0, Morgan Williams 3, Connor King 11 and Ben Ilsley 1.