Warriors stay top of the table as they refuse to bow to Kent Kings pressure
The Wightlink Warriors speedway team exorcised the nightmare of their last visit to the Kent Kings as they came from eight points down to seal a well earned draw in the National League and stay top of the table.
Kent Kings 45 Wightlink Warriors 45
The hosts’ well-documented injury woes struck again before the meeting in Sittingbourne as hot-prospect Jake Mulford withdrew with ankle damage sustained in a grasstrack accident over the weekend.
He was replaced by James Laker, from Weymouth in the Development League – and Kent’s troubles were compounded as the meeting progressed with several untimely falls.
With the Warriors looking for a better start than on their last visit, and that objective was broadly achieved until a 5-1 reversal in heat eight put the visitors eight points behind.
In that situation they were able to deploy Ben Morley as a tactical substitute – a move that produced a 4-2 advantage, with former Kent man Morley delivering his fourth successive win with team-mate Danno Verge in third spot.
Georgie Wood and Chad Wirtzfeld then narrowed the gap to four points with another 4-2 win.
But Kent’s advantage was stretched again to six points after a 4-2 victory in heat 12.
Enter the big guns of Morley and Wood, though, for heat 13, where they produced a maximum win.
Warrior hopes of away league points were then raised further when Connor King hustled home reserve Jacob Clouting into a fall to share the penultimate race and set up a last-heat decider – the Kings just two points in front.
With at least one away league point in the bag, Wood and Morley were sent out again in the last race to face off against Anders Rowe and Jenkins.
With a tapes malfunction adding to the tension, it was Morley who produced the best start.
He powered away to another win, leaving Rowe and Wood to battle it out for the crucial second place.
However, Wood couldn’t pass Rowe, who rode the ideal line to save his side from defeat.
Warrior’s co-promoter, Barry Bishop, said: ‘I am delighted the boys continued their form, with every rider adding to the points on a night where passing was difficult.
‘The result means we continue to pick up points away from home which if we continue can only put us in good stead for a play-off spot.
‘Monday night has to be one of our most proud moments to date.’