Isle of Wight racer Ben Morley seals title after showdown with Alfie Bowtell

Ben Morley. Picture: Ian Groves/Sportography
Ben Morley. Picture: Ian Groves/Sportography
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It was a Warrior one-two at the most important individual speedway meeting of the season for National League riders, writes Rob Dyer.

What an afternoon it turned out for the Riders Championships in Leicester.

The Isle of Wight outfit duo shone as Ben Morley secured the title after beating team-mate Alfie Bowtell in a first-place showdown. 

In a line up that was jam packed with the best available riders in the league, choosing a likely winner was no easy task.

Many had Mildenhall wizz-kid Drew Kemp down as the rider to beat but his afternoon turned sour after only two races, blighted by mechanical issues and a fall that saw him withdraw.

Another pre-meeting favourite was home number one Connor Mountain representing Coventry and that view looked to be well founded as he raced unbeaten to four quick wins before facing up to Bowtell in a crucial heat 20.

With Morley looking on from the pits having racked up 14 impressive points from his five rides, Bowtell on 11 points did his team-mate a huge favour with a jet propelled start.

That put him clear of the pack and vitally in front of Mountain who, try as he might, could not move out of third place.

So with Morley and Bowtell both ending on 14, the Warriors were assured of having the winner with Mountain clear in third place overall.

And so to a fantastic final race with Morley leading off the gate only to be hustled and harried by Bowtell.

Both riders were definitely on full gas and Bowtell sneaked in front on lap three. But he ran wide on the first two bends of the last lap and snagged the fence at high speed, crashing out but fortunately without any serious damage.

This was not the first time that Morley has tasted success in this meeting as he took the title in 2015.

He said: ‘I’m made up with that. We’ve been set up well all afternoon and I was happy with the inside gate for the run off.

‘Going up against Alfie was really tough. He’s been on fire this weekend and to be fair he might have won it if he hadn’t run in too hot on lap four.

‘I’m also really pleased that we got a one two-for the Warriors. Barry and everyone on the island have been great to ride for and it’s nice to do this for them.