Wightlink Warriors expect toughest test yet against Mildenhall Fen Tigers

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Wightlink Warriors welcome unbeaten National League leaders Mildenhall Fen Tigers to the Smallbrook Stadium on Thursday night, writes Rob Dyer.

Another 21-race programme is in prospect as the Wightlink Wizards – the Ryde-based club’s development team – are in action against the Reading Racers.

That Southern Development League fixture follows hot on the heels of the main event, which promises to be the sternest test the Warriors have faced to date.

The Tigers have been the stand-out team in the division this season.

They have already enjoyed a big win at Smallbrook Stadium in the National Trophy – a competition which will see Mildenhall take on Cradley in the two-legged final next month.

On that visit, Tigers wonderkid Drew Kemp scored a 15-point maximum but sadly the Isle of Wight public will not be seeing his superb skills this week as he makes his Championship debut for Ipswich instead.

In his absence the visitors have opted to protect their 11-match unbeaten run by using the rider replacement facility – confident in the ability of their remaining six team members to cover for their absent number one.

Meanwhile, the Warriors go into the meeting with their heat leaders in good form on home shale.

And they will be further boosted by the return of Chris Widman, who hopes to be back in action following the broken wrist he suffered six weeks ago.

Jamie Bursill will again take one of the reserve positions.

Warriors co-promoter Barry Bishop said: ‘Mildenhall have been so impressive in our league this year and look to be on course to meet some really stretching goals set by their management.

‘We are going to have to be at our very best to compete with them and I would urge all island’s speedway fans to come along for what I’m sure will be a cracking meeting.

‘We also have the Wightlink Wizards completing their home league campaign against Reading, so it’s another bumper programme that will be full of fun and excitement.

‘There will be something for everyone, so we’d urge fans to come and join us and give their vocal support. The riders really do appreciate it.’

The evening will also see the annual collection for the Speedway Riders Benevolent Fund – a charity that provides financial assistance to injured riders.

Gates will open at 5.30pm, pit access is from 5.45pm to 6.15pm and pre-meeting demonstrations from 6.15pm before the parade of riders and the tapes up at 7pm.

Wightlink Warriors: Ben Morley, Danno Verge, Scott Campos, Chris Widman, Alfie Bowtell, Jamie Bursill, Shaun Tedham.

Mildeenhall Fen Tigers: rider replacement for Drew Kemp, Ryan Kinsley, Josh Bailey, Jordan Jenkins, Danny Ayres, Matt Marson, Sam Bebee.

Wightlink Wizards: Rob Watts, Ben Ilsley, Jamie Sealey, Chris Watts.

Reading Racers: Nick Laurence, Stephen Whitehouse, Jamie Bursill, Bailey Fellowes.