GB Young Lions talents tamed by Wightlink Warriors

Warriors rider Shaun Tedham had a top night against the Young Lions. Picture: Ian Groves/Sportography
Warriors rider Shaun Tedham had a top night against the Young Lions. Picture: Ian Groves/Sportography
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Wightlink Warriors powered to a 52-37 success over GB Young Lions in a challenge match at the Smallbrook Stadium on Tuesday, writes Rob Dyer.

The visitors, former of the best up and coming riders in the under-19 age group, suffered two early setbacks in the clash.

And they proved a key factor in the result as the hosts ran out comfortable winners.

The Young Lions hit trouble as early as heat two when their reserves failed to negotiate the first two corners.

Lewis Whitmore looked to have lost control of his machine following a mechanical problem, inadvertently forcing team-mate Alex Spooner into the safety barrier.

Both riders returned to the pits but with Spooner feeling the effects of his fall and unable to come out for the re-run.

Whitmore then encountered more engine problems on the way to the start and the second race went ahead with just two Warriors.

Two further heats followed before the track paramedic was needed to look after Spooner.

With his condition causing some concern, an ambulance had to be summoned and racing was suspended for almost an hour while the track medics assisted the stricken rider.

When racing resumed, the Warriors big hitters Alfie Bowtell and Ben Morley turned on the style – riding unbeaten by an opponent throughout the evening.

Popular reserve Shaun Tedham, showing new-found speed and aggression, enjoyed his best night of the season, while Danno Verge’s dogged efforts were not reflected in a modest score.

Despite their early body blows, the Young Lions showed plenty of potential – with Leon Flint working hard to top score.

Jason Edwards looked smooth and stylish, while Joe Lawlor was always in the thick of the action.

Warriors boss Jackie Vatcher, wife of Lions manager Neil Vatcher, clinched the family bragging rights.

She said: ‘I’m very happy with that win.

‘Ben looked really sharp and quick – as did Alfie – and what a night for Shaun.

‘He was so up for this even before they lost Alex and Lewis.

‘It’s the best he’s ridden here this season.’

Neil Vatcher was upbeat despite the defeat.

He added: ‘Losing Alex on the second bend of heat two was massive, especially when Lewis had to pull out at the same time.

‘But this was a brilliant work out for us in a competitive team situation and I’m really proud of the five riders left standing.

‘They worked well together and showed immense potential.’

Wightlink arriors: Alfie Bowtell 14+1, Danno Verge 5+1, Scott Campos 8+1, Chris Widman 1, Ben Morley 12, Jamie Bursill 3+2, Shaun Tedham 9+1

GB Young Lions : Leon Flint 10, Ben Woodhull 5+1, Joe Lawlor 8+2, Jason Edwards 9+1, Taylor Hampshire 5, Alex Spooner 0, Lewis Whitmore 0