Vince Mapley Memorial Trophy: Edwards capitalises as Morley suffers shock fall. Spectacular opening night for Wightlink Warriors

Wightlink Warriors club captain Ben Morley looked an odds-on favourite to retain the Vince Mapley Memorial Trophy but he suffered a shock crash and Jason Edwards capitalised.

Saturday, 13th April 2019, 3:53 pm
Updated Sunday, 14th April 2019, 4:29 pm
Ben Morley. Pictured: Ian Groves/Sportography
Ben Morley. Pictured: Ian Groves/Sportography

The Isle of Wight speedway septet were in action on Thursday evening in the Vince Mapley Memorial Trophy, writes Rob Dyer.

Morley was flying and seemed to be destined to win again as the four finalists came to tapes. However, lady luck deserted him as his rear wheel slid away at the end of lap three and he crashed to the track surrendering what looked like a certain race win.

Fortunately he was unscathed by the tumble.

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Jason Edwards pictured took the win. Picture: Ian Groves/Sportography

Up to that point Morley had taken five quick heat wins in style, seeing off team-mate Georgie Wood and the rest of the field in impressive fashion.

However, the major beneficiary of his fall was young Edwards, from Mildenhall, who had joined the field at short notice when Danny Ayres called off with a recurrence of an ankle problem.

Edwards, who is just about to take his GCSE’s and a precocious talent on a speedway bike, had ridden consistently all night and was most certainly worthy of his place in the final. Sitting in a comfortable second to Morley when the Warrior fell, the youngster eased passed the stricken rider to take the trophy outright.

New Warrior Wood also showed up well and looks to be a classy capture.

Six Warriors riders made the semi-finals, only Chris Widman struggled with mechanical problems looking to have disrupted his night.

Co-promoter Barry Bishop drew a number of positives from the Warriors first run out of the season.

He said: ‘I couldn’t be happier and loved it all. I think it’s the biggest opening night crowd we have had while Martin and I have been promoting here. We had loads going on for everyone and a last race that will send the fans home talking about Ben’s bad luck.

‘Overall I’m really happy with the squad as they bed in for 2019 and I can’t wait for the under-21 semi-final on Tuesday.’