Wightlink Warriors sign off with battling defeat

Wightlink Warriors brought the curtain down on their National League season with a 57-33 defeat at Eastbourne Eagles on Saturday, writes Rob Dyer.

Sunday, 16th September 2018, 8:08 pm
Updated Sunday, 16th September 2018, 9:23 pm
Nathan Stoneman starred as a guest for Wightlink Warriors. Picture: Wightlink Warriors

The home side were desperate to keep their end-of-season play-off hopes alive with victory over the Isle of Wight outfit.

And having crushed Stoke Potters earlier in the evening, they did just that with a 24-point triumph.

Max Clegg and former Warriors rider Nathan Stoneman stepped in for Alfie Bowtell and Ben Morley, who were on Championship duty with Rye House.

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And the pair impressed in the defeat.

Warriors co-promoter Martin Widman said: '˜We knew this would be another testing match for the side.

'˜Overall it wasn't a bad performance and we were helped by the terrific contribution of our two guests.

'˜Clearly the Eagles were in need of all the league points available and put on two thoroughly professional displays to keep their play-off aspirations intact. We wish them well.' 

Eastbourne were without Mark Baseby and Charley Powell and used the rider replacement facility and Kelsey Dugard as a guest.

Their unusual make-up gave hope the Warriors could ruffle the Eagles' plumage.

 sowed seeds of optimism in the visiting camp that they may be able to ruffle some Eagle plumage.

But it was not to be as the home side's teenage contingent stepped up to the plate.

Ethan Spiller (10+3), Jason Edwards (10+3) and Charlie Brooks (9+5) delivered mature performances to back up the ever-reliable Georgie Wood (15).

Clegg (12+2) and Stoneman (13) finished up as top scorers for the Warriors as they produced a series of excellent races.

While the Warriors have now completed their fixtures, the Wizards have one more meeting left against the Reading Racers on Saturday at Eastbourne.

The club are also waiting on news about the National League Riders Championship.

This individual event is set to take place at Leicester on September 30 and the start list of riders is expected shortly.

If other racing commitments allow, it is likely Bowtell and possibly Morley will feature.