Kent Kings 45 Wightlink Warriors 45
The Isle of Wight ‘Wightlink’ Warriors speedway team exorcised the nightmare of their last forgettable visit to Sittingbourne as they came from eight points down to seal a well earned draw in this National League fixture. Those two league points keep the Warriors top of the table.
Kent’s well documented injury woes struck again before the meeting as hot prospect Jake Mulford withdrew with ankle damage sustained in a grasstrack accident over the weekend and he was replaced by James Laker from Weymouth in the Development League, and the home side’s troubles were compounded as the meeting progressed with several untimely falls.
With the Warriors looking for a better start than on their last visit, that objective was broadly achieved until a 5-1 reversal in heat eight put the visitors eight behind and in that situation the Warriors were able to deploy Ben Morley (pictured) as a tactical substitute – a move that produced a 4-2 advantage with former Kent man Morley delivering his fourth successive win with team mate Danno Verge in third spot.
Georgie Wood and Chad Wirtzfeld then narrowed the gap with another 4-2 to four points but that was straight back to six points after a Kent 4-2 in heat twelve. Enter the big guns of Morley and Wood for heat thirteen and they produced a maximum win. Warrior hopes of away league points were then raised further as Connor King hustled home reserve Jacob Clouting into a fall to share the penultimate race and set up a last heat decider – the Kings just two points in front.
With at least one away league point in the bag, Wood and Morley were sent out again in the last race to face off against Anders Rowe and Jenkins. With a tapes malfunction adding to the tension, it was Morley with the best start and he powered away to another win leaving Rowe and Wood to battle out the crucial second place and try as he might, Wood couldn’t pass Rowe who rode the ideal line to save his side from defeat.
The consensus was that a draw was a fair result, the meeting was a terrific advert for the National League and Warriors sailed home with two league points from their best ever performance at Central Park.
Warrior’s co-promoter Barry Bishop said, “I am delighted the boys continued their form with every rider adding to the points on a night where passing was difficult. The result means we continue to pick up points away from home which if we continue can only put us in good stead for a play-off spot. Last night has to be one of our most proud moments to date”.
Kings: Drew Kemp 5, Alex Spooner 6+1, Anders Rowe 12+1, Jordan Jenkins 8+1, Rob Ledwith 7, Jacob Clouting 6+1 and James Laker 1.
Warriors: Georgie Wood 12, Chad Wirtzfeld 3, Scott Campos 2, Danno Verge 6, Ben Morley 17+1, Chris Widman 1+1 and Connor King 4+1.