It was mixed fortunes for the Isle of Wight Wightlink Warriors and Wizards speedway teams with the Warriors delivering a tense and exciting win in their National League fixture whilst the Wizards suffered a reverse at the hands of Carmarthen.
The Warriors left it late to secure the 48-42 win over a plucky Potters outfit and had big guns Georgie Wood and Ben Morley to thank for securing all three league points.
Visitors Stoke took the lead in heat three and were able to maintain a slender two-point lead until heat 13 when the unbeaten pair of Wood and Morley turned in the first of two match-winning 5-1 heat advantages, writes Rob Dyer.
With a two-point lead for the home side and just two races remaining it fell to Warriors Danno Verge to sweep to the front in a shared heat 14 and set up a last race showdown.
As expected, Wood and Morley were deployed for the home side while the Potters tracked former Islander Tom Perry and the impressive Joe Lawlor.
The tension around the stadium was soon dispelled as the Warriors made the best starts and blasted away to their second 5-1 despite the earnest efforts of Perry who kept Morley up to his work throughout.
While he victory was founded on Wood and Morley’s maximum contributions, there were some telling scores from the other Warriors with Connor King’s first winning race at Smallbrook being well received on the terraces.
Unfortunately the Wightlink Wizards couldn’t emulate the Warriors and slipped to a six-point defeat at the hands of Carmarthen’s more experienced side.
The match saw a multiple collision in its fifth race when Carmarthen’s all action Tim Colley got into difficulty on turn two and fell.
Wizards Morgan Williams acted instantly to lay his bike down to avoid the stricken Dragon and with riders and machinery spread across the track Luke Barnes (Carmarthen) and Ben Ilsley (Wizards) were both able to get their bikes down to avoid the carnage in front of them.
Those split second reactions undoubtedly helped rescue a very awkward situation and the three following riders should be applauded for their actions. Luckily no serious injury or damage was sustained.
After the meetings Warriors co-promoter Martin Widman said: ‘It’s a fantastic feeling to get our first league win.
‘While it would have been better if we could have built up a lead, we were quietly confident that we could get advantages in heats 13 and 15 and so it proved.
‘We still have areas to work on.’