Wightlink Warriors out to dethrone Kent Kings in National League showdown at Smallbrook Stadium
Wightlink Warriors host Kent Kings at the Smallbrook Stadium on Thursday, writes Rob Dyer.
And they will be eager to dent the hopes of the National League title favourites.
The Warriors were beaten by the Kings in Sittingbourne earlier this season – with the National Trophy on the line.
Ben Morley had previously led the Isle of Wight outfit to a brilliant victory over their rivals on home shale.
A fast start that night saw the Warriors race into a 14-point lead before holding on to win by six.
Co-promoter Barry Bishop does not expect a similar headstart this time around.
He said: ‘The Kings outfought us at their track.
‘They are one of the better sides in this league with a good record here.
‘We’ll take those factors as our motivation to deliver a solid team performance.
‘I’m sure they won’t make such a slow start like they did last time they were here.
‘I have a feeling this will be a nailbiting meeting for both sets of fans.
‘That said, the Warriors can win this one.
‘If everyone performs to the best of their ability we can send our fans home happy.’
Kent have overcome injuries to hot shot Dan Gilkes and promising Alex Spooner.
The latter is now back in the saddle but influential reserve Nathan Ablitt is sidelined following concussion.
Morley will lead the Warriors’ regular seven in to battle once again.
The National League scrap will be followed by six heats of Midland & Southern Development League action as Wightlink Wizards host Weymouth Wildcats.
The home talents are eager to build on a comprehensive win over Milton Keynes in Birmingham last time out
Bishop added: ‘The Wizards are absolutely buzzing and they have never been more determined to register a home victory.
‘It will also be an opportunity for me to welcome the Wildcats management duo of James Tresadern and Martin Peters, who are so determined to find their team a home in Dorset.
‘They have our full backing and we wish them well with an unenviable task.’
Anyone aged 19 is entitled to free entry to the meeting. Gates open at 5.30pm with the first race at 7pm.