Warriors aim to take revenge on Hitmen

Wightlink Warriors. Picture: Ian Groves
Wightlink Warriors. Picture: Ian Groves
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Wightlink Warriors host Buxton Hitmen at the Smallbrook Stadium on Thursday.

And after a 66-24 defeat in the Derbyshire dales in May, the hosts will be determined to take revenge in the National League clash.

The fixture also offers the Warriors a chance to get back on track after their visit to Eastbourne on Saturday was postponed.

The Isle of Wight outfits unexpected mauling at the hands of the Hitmen earlier this season was missed by skipper James Cockle.

Cockle was caught up in traffic as the previously toothless Buxton introduced Premier League reserve Matt Clegg.

And it was Clegg who galvanised the hosts and inspired their comprehensive victory.

In the subsequent two months, the Warriors have regrouped and recruited new riders.

And they will come into the rematch full of confidence after beating Stoke Potters last time out.

Like the Potters, the Hitmen have yet to secure a league point on the road this season.

That’s despite boasting two of the competition’s big hitters in Clegg and Isle of Wight specialist Matt Williamson.

Warriors team manager Jackie Vatcher is taking a measured approach to the fixture.

She said: ‘Realistically, this is a meeting we should be looking to win and win well.

‘After last week’s victory the boys are showing levels of confidence we haven’t seen so far this season.

‘And this bodes well as we face the challenge of the Hitmen who have a strong spearhead in Matt and Max.

‘It should be another action packed meeting for our holiday crowd to enjoy.’

Gates open at the Smallbrook Stadium at 5.30pm.

Pit access is open from 5.45pm to 6.15pm before the rider parade at 6.45pm and the first race 7pm.

Wightlink Warriors: Ben Wilson, Chris Widman, James Cockle, Scott Campos, Connor Coles, Jamie Sealey, Adam Portwood

Buxton Hitmen: Matt Williamson, Lee Geary, Tom Woolley, Jamie Halder, Max Clegg, Ryan Kinsley, Ben Woodhull

n Following his crash last week, Stoke Potters rider David Wallinger was kept in hospital overnight with scans showing no broken bones.

He has severe bruising to his lower back but was able to return to his Yorkshire home on Friday afternoon.

On social media, Wallinger thanked the medical staff who attended to him on track, paramedics, St Mary’s staff and the Warriors fans who sent messages of support.