Wightlink Warriors suffered a 16-point defeat as the Mildenhall Fen Tigers bared their claws at the Smallbrook Stadium on Thursday night, writes Rob Dyer.
The top-class visitors sped to a 53-37 success in the National League clash as they defended an 11-match unbeaten run.
After a morning of persistent rain, Warriors volunteers rolled up their sleeves to get the meeting on.
And their hard work paid dividends, with 21 heats full of fast times and plenty of passing to delight the Isle of Wight crowd.
Mildenhall, who arrived as hot favourites, provided 13 of the 15 heat winners – taking 11 heat advantages.
It was an uphill struggle from the off for the Warriors but they refused to roll over.
Fen Tigers pair Danny Ayres (16) and Josh Bailey (16) were in dominant form.
And even without the services of teenage number one Drew Kemp, the visitors looked comfortable.
With the tenacious work of much-improved Ryan Kinsley (nine plus one), the Suffolk side will take some stopping as the league campaign heads towards its climax.
For the Warriors, Ben Morley (11), Alfie Bowtell (eight plus one) and Scott Campos (seven) were the leading lights.
They were bravely backed up by Danno Verge (three plus one), Chris Widman (two), Jamie Bursill (three) and Shaun Tedham (three plus two).
Immediately after the National League action, the Wightlink Wizards took on the Reading Racers in the Southern Development League.
Looking to repeat their home win last week, the young guns came up just short in a 21-15 defeat.
Jamie Sealey (eight) put in three strong rides with some sweet passes, while Rob Watts just couldn’t find the set up that saw him to three unbeaten outings last week.
Ben Ilsley (four plus one) and Chris Watts (three plus one) completed the Wizards line-up.
Meanwhile, Reading’s solid quartet were all very competitive and added greatly to the entertainment on the night.
Barry Bishop, the Warriors’ co-promoter, said: ‘Firstly a huge thank you to our brilliant track team for getting the circuit raceable.
‘Secondly an equally big thank you to the supporters of Mildenhall, Reading and the Warriors and Wizards who turned out in great numbers.
‘And lastly well done to all the riders for serving up some fantastic speedway.
‘It was a super evening showing all that is exciting and good about our sport.’