Last-gasp heartache for Warriors

Chris Widman
Chris Widman
Wightlink Warriors

Bishop hails nationwide pull of Wightlink Warriors

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For the second week running, the Warriors were beaten in a nail-biting last-race decider as they lost to Swindon Sprockets in a highly-entertaining National Trophy encounter at The Andrew Younie Smallbrook Stadium.

The hosts went into the meeting with a full side, welcoming back Tyler Govier and Rik Mullins from injury, and had high hopes of picking up their first win of the season.

Those hopes almost instantly evaporated as Govier fell on the first bend of heat one and aggravated the shoulder problem that had previously troubled him.

He was withdrawn from the meeting on medical advice and Warriors faced another uphill struggle, adding unwanted pressure to their inexperienced reserves.

Yet again the home side’s top four could not be faulted and it was the big-hitting Ben Wilson and Nathan Greaves who brought the home crowd to their feet when registering a maximum 5-1 heat advantage in heat 13, putting the home side within four of their visitors.

Chris Widman then pounced to win heat 14, and with Warriors hopes high, Wilson and Greaves were nominated to come to tapes in heat 15.

Swindon named the classy Zach Wajtknecht and skipper Daryl Ritchings to defend a four-point lead.

The tension in the stadium was palpable and as the tapes rose it was both home riders who sprang out of the gate.

Their lead was to last for two laps until young Wajtknecht produced an outstanding final couple of laps of speedway to manoeuvre his way to the front and hold on to win.

So Warriors continue to look for a victory – a fact not lost on Widman.

He said: ‘Heat 13 was brilliant by Ben and Nath and I knew I had to take full responsibility for keeping us in the meeting by winning heat 14.

‘My first turn was okay and I was able to generate good speed to pass Alfie Bowtell on the inside as we entered turn three.

‘While he did come back at me, it was good to have clean air up front rather than be peppered in shale dust.

‘It’s just a pity the boys couldn’t peg Zach back in 15.

‘As the season has gone on I’m feeling better and better and all the lads are sure that elusive win is just around the corner.’

Warriors’ next meet is on Thursday, May 11, when Lakeside Hammers visit in the National League.