The Wightlink Warriors speedway team are preparing for their next home National League meeting against Eastbourne Eagles at the Andrew Younie Smallbrook Stadium this coming Thursday (31st August).
After last week’s very disappointing home defeat, the Warriors must re-group and face up to yet another stiff contest this time posed by the Eagles who are rightly regarded as one of the division’s top sides. Until recently it was former Warriors favourite Mark Baseby who was leading the visitors charge but a recent accident has almost certainly seen his season ended by a badly broken arm leaving the lanky Jake Knight to inherit the number 1 race jacket.
Helping Knight will be their new signing Josh Bailey and another popular former Island rider Ben Hopwood deputising for Georgie Wood who is in action for Sheffield in the Championship. With Mattie Bates dangerously lurking in the number 7 reserve slot it is easy to see why the Eagles have every chance of clinching an end of season play-off spot.
With last week’s ‘X-rated’ result still an uncomfortable memory, the Warriors will hope that the return from illness of team skipper James Cockle will be the spark needed to ignite his side and clip the visitors wings and maybe, just maybe, see the home side through to only a fourth league win of the season.
One Warrior with a point to prove will be Connor Coles. Having started the season as an Eagle, his time in Sussex was terminated when the uncompromising Eastbourne management opted for a team restructure that left him out in the cold. A big score for the Warriors this week would undoubtedly go down very well personally and also with the home side’s loyal supporters.
Co-Promoter Barry Bishop broke off from his work returning the stadium to normal after the successful Bank Holiday Weekend Scooter Rally to say:
“The fixture list has dealt us a really tough finish at home with nearly all the play-off challengers visiting the Island during the run-in. This week’s visitors Eastbourne have maintained their push towards the top of the table despite several injuries and absences and there is no doubt they will come here gunning for a win to keep the play-off push on track, however I know that if the Warriors apply themselves in the right way, then we can cause a surprise.
“I also know that win, lose or draw it will be another great night of family fun for the last week of the school summer holidays and I would urge all Warrior fans to make this meeting if they possibly can”.
The first race is at 19:00.