Warriors stoking up for Potters


The Isle of Wight ‘Wightlink’ Warriors roar back into action in the National League on Thursday (August 2) when Stoke Potters provide the opposition at the Andrew Younie Smallbrook Stadium, Ryde.

The comprehensive beating of Buxton has buoyed the confidence in the Island camp despite the absence of key riders Ben Morley, Alfie Bowtell and Chris Widman.

They will be missing again this week, but with new riding averages in force from August 1, the successful strategy used last Thursday will have to be tweaked by team manager Jackie Vatcher to accommodate returning guest Danny Ayres (pictured) and Eastbourne’s exciting teenager Tom Brennan.

Danny Ayres – Sportography

The rider replacement facility for Chris Widman will be used in the No2 position, putting more responsibility on Danno Verge and the two reserves.

The Potters arrive on the first leg of their southern tour with a number of problems.

Stadium and track difficulties at their Loomer Road circuit have halted their ability to stage home meetings at present, while on the track, veteran captain Tony Atkin has stepped away from the club for personal reasons and in his absence Luke Ruddick (Mildenhall) has been called in as a guest rider.

Recent signing David Wallinger also misses out through a fixture clash with his Championship club Ipswich.

Home co-promoter Barry Bishop said: “We picked up a league point from our trip to Stoke before being dealt a cruel blow when the match was abandoned due to deteriorating conditions.

“At that point the Potters were only just in front of us and I’m sure that if we had carried on, our strong finish would have seen us gain at least a draw if not a win.

“Now I hope that the boys will quickly get into the groove and demonstrate what we are capable of again. We are determined to give our fans a win to cap what I’m sure will be another fun packed night of speedway entertainment, the Warrior way.”

Gates open at 5.30pm with open pit access available from 5.45pm to 6.15pm. Pre-meeting demonstrations by the mascots and Mini Warriors from 6.15pm ahead of the parade of riders at 6.45pm with the first race at 7pm.

Likely teams:

Warriors: Danny Ayres, Rider Replacement for Chris Widman, Scott Campos, Danno Verge, Tom Brennan, Jamie Bursill, Shaun Tedham.

Potters: Luke Ruddick, TBC, Rob Shuttleworth, Tim Colley, Max Clegg, Joe Alcock, Paul Burnett.

*The Southern Development League match between the ‘Wightlink’ Wizards and Weymouth has been deferred to Tuesday, August 7th to assist the Wildcats over some rider availability issues.