The Wightlink Warriors speedway team ended their home 2017 season at the Andrew Younie Smallbrook Stadium last night (Thursday) with a straight forward victory over the nomadic Heathens who were missing 5 of their regular septet.
Having failed with an eleventh hour bid to have the play-off cut off date extended, the under strength Heathens arrived on the Island knowing that they were no longer able to accrue sufficient league points from their last 2 fixtures in time to overhaul Lakeside in fourth place. Thus their quest for honours had come to a sudden end following an unwanted series of illnesses, injuries and absences.
On the night Rob Shuttleworth, Joe Lawlor and Josh Bailey worked hard to contain the home side with Bailey’s heat 6 win from the back over Cockle the highlight; however meaningful back-up failed to materialise as the hosts dominated throughout and secured their biggest win of the season.
The Warriors’ win lifted them off the bottom of the league table (jumping ahead of both Stoke and Buxton in the process) with Ben Wilson unbeaten by a Heathen as he carded 4 perfect wins, however it was Scott Campos, also unbeaten by an opponent, who was again in the thick of the action producing a superb outside pass of Shuttleworth in heat 5 in a personal best time of 70.9 seconds.
For the home crowd’s favourite Jamie Sealey it was also a night to remember as he recorded his best score of the season with 6 and a bonus point. Many times this season his luck has been right out but his will to do well for the team has never wavered and last night it was his turn to shine.
Perhaps the biggest cheer of the night was reserved for co-promoter Barry Bishop who took to the microphone at the end of racing and after thanking supporters, sponsors, riders, medical staff and volunteers. Barry was able to confirm that the promotion intend to run speedway on the Island again in 2018.
Wightlink Warriors 61 Z Cradley ’Motor Market’ Heathens 29
Warriors: James Cockle 11+1, Chris Widman 7+1, Connor Coles 12+1, Scott Campos 10+2, Ben Wilson 12, Jamie Sealey 6+1, Adam Portwood 3
Heathens: Rob Shuttleworth 7, Rider Replacement for Richard Hall, Joe Lawlor 7, Luke Harris 3+2, Josh Bailey 8, Jamie Bursill 2, William O’Keefe 2+1
The next action will see James Cockle represent the Warriors in the National League Riders Championship at Leicester on Sunday and this will be followed by the 2 final away meetings at Mildenhall on 1st October and Stoke on 8th October – vital matches to determine to destination of the wooden spoon.