The Isle of Wight Wightlink Warriors brought their busy week of speedway action to a tense climax as they drew their National Trophy fixture at Plymouth 45-45 in a final race showdown thanks again to the dynamic duo of Georgie Wood and Ben Morley.
In dry and dusty conditions, all the Warriors battled hard to keep the scores close and heading into heat 13 the visitors were only four points in arrears as Wood and Morley came to tapes.
At the first attempt to run the race former Warrior Nathan Stoneman, now racing for Plymouth, clipped Morley and earned a disqualification.
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 for maximum points to 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 visitors, the Gladiators made the better starts and despite Danno Verge’s best efforts he couldn’t make a telling pass and so to the last race with the Warriors needing a 5-1 to draw the meeting.
Not unsurprisingly unbeaten Georgie Wood 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, Wood competing his second successive five ride maximum and Morley registering paid 13.
So a hectic week of speedway in three separate competitions concluded with a real ‘feel-good’ factor in the camp as the Warriors prepare for a really tough test against Kent at Smallbrook next Thursday.
In contrast to the Warriors pleasing results, the Wightlink Wizards couldn’t find quite enough fire power to clip the Exeter Falcons wings. With Connor King stepping in to the side and delivering 11 points, sadly meaningful back up was missing and the Falcons eased to a steady 20-15 win.
Speaking on behalf of the Warriors management team after the meetings co-promoter Barry Bishop said: ‘Kev, Martin and I were absolutely delighted with the Warriors.
‘For the first time since promoting 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.
‘We always win, lose or draw as a team and tonight it was a case of great teamwork. Every rider scored points that made the result possible and every rider should be proud of their effort.
‘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.’