The Isle of Wight Wightlink Warriors speedway team tumbled out of the Knock-Out Cup at the hands of the Cradley Heathens going down by just two points in the away leg at Wolverhampton.
The Warriors were beaten 46-44 and that saw them lost 95-85 on aggregate. The meeting was on a knife edge from the off and at one stage it looked as if the visitors may spring a surprise but the home team eventually cut out a number of errors that had hampered their scoring and survived a last heat decider, writes Rob Dyer.
But make no mistake, this was a Warrior performance to be proud of and every rider deserves a pat on the back for digging in and giving the Heathens a real scare.
Cradley: Max Clegg 16, Lewis Whitmore 1, Danny Halsey 4+1, Luke Harris 11, Rider Replacement for Tom Brennan, Tom Spencer 9+2, Harry McGurk 5+1 and James Chattin DNR.
Warriors: Georgie Wood 11, Chris Widman 3, Ryan Terry-Daley 8, Danno Verge 6, Ben Morley 10+1, Chad Wirtzfeld 6+3 and Connor King 0.
The Warriors attention must now quickly switch to their first National League encounter of the season when Stoke Potters visit the Smallbrook Stadium on Thursday. With only one win in official team competitions so far, the home side will be out to meet the expectations of both management and fans alike, however the Potters cannot be taken likely with two former Isle of Wight riders, Tom Perry and Connor Coles, bound to provide stiff opposition.
Warriors co-promoter Barry Bishop said: ‘After our superb effort here at Cradley all the boys should take a great deal of confidence in to the Stoke meeting and we will be determined to bank three points against them. These are two evenly matched teams and I fully expect a ding-dong battle with close racing throughout. We also have the Wightlink Wizards in action against Carmarthen and so we must go for two wins on the night.’
Warriors: Wood, Widman, Terry-Daley, Verge, Morley, King, Wirtzfeld.
Potters: Perry, Rutherford, Lawlor, Priest, Coles, Butcher and Alcock.
Wizards: Sealey, Williams, Watts, Ilsley.
Dragons: Alcock, Colley, Woodward, Barnes.
This week, for anyone aged 32, it is free admission as part of the weekly age initiative being run by the club. Proof of age is required at the turnstile to benefit from this promotion. Otherwise, the usual pricing and admission arrangements apply, with gates opening at 5.30pm ahead of the first race at 7pm.