Wightlink Warriors speedway team were edged by Plymouth in very entertaining league encounter that eventually saw the home side emerge victorious by just two points.
It was a strong show from the Isle of Wight team away from home and the management were pleased with how they battled throughout, writes Rob Dyer.
Team boss on the night Kevin Sheppard was full of praise for his charges.
He said: ‘That’s two nail biters we’ve had here and both times I have been really proud of the way the boys have ridden.
‘Okay, one or two things didn’t quite go our way but that’s speedway and I think we have put on a good show for the Plymouth crowd.
‘We can take heart from this as we prepare to welcome Kent Kings to Smallbrook next Thursday.’
Although still a little dusty, the newly relaid track served up some good action as the Gladiators looked to cover the injury absence of Nathan Stoneman.
This allowed home riders Ben Wilson, Richard Andrews and in-form Adam Extance extra rides and it was the home side who got off to the perfect start when heat one leader Georgie Wood suffered mechanical issues gifting Extance and Wilson a maximum 5-1 start.
Warriors battled back and their persistence kept them in close touch with Plymouth until another 5-1 in heat 10 opened the gap to eight points allowing the visitors to introduce Ben Morley as a tactical substitute to join Georgie Wood.
The move paid off with a 5-1 for the Warriors bringing the points difference back to just four.
However the Gladiators managed to get the first man home in the next three heats and Adam Sheppard’s gift point in heat 14 sealed a home team victory with a race to spare.
Heat 15 went the way of Morley and Wood with another maximum and a valuable league point was secured.