The Wightlink Islanders got off to a cracking start in the glorious sunshine last night (Tuesday), taking a 5-1 victory in Heat 1 which set the form for the remainder of the meeting with the home side taking no less than ten, 5 points to 1 victories out of the 15 heats, racing to an incredible 59-34 win over the visiting team, the Stoke Potters.
Before the 15 heats of racing got underway, the two team number ones Tom Perry (Islanders) and Lee Smart (Potters) battled it out for the title of the Bronze Helmet, a monthly head-to-head challenge, with the Islander’s very own Tom Perry taking a tremendous lead early on to take the sought after Bronze Helmet for June.
As the Islander’s rode to a comfortable win, extending their lead at the top of the National Trophy, it wasn’t completely smooth riding when Heat 4 was red flagged. It was a hairy moment for the Islander’s Tom Young as he lost control and nearly fell into the first bend, however managing to keep the bike upright and carry on much to the relief of spectators and team mates alike. A domino effect followed as it wasn’t long until Stoke’s Lee Payne fell into the fourth bend and moments later the race was red flagged for safety when Brandon Freemantle smashed into the crash barrier, however all escaped injury.
The evening wasn’t going too well for Tom Young when track paramedics raced to his aid in Heat 8 as the racing was once again red flagged. Young lost control, slamming into the safety fence but thankfully walked away battered and bruised but without injury after getting the all clear from medics.
As the sun set over Smallbrook Stadium, the Stoke Potters rounded the evening off with a ding-dong battle in Heat 15 taking a 5-1 victory, bringing in a final score of Wightlink Islanders 59 – 34 Stoke Potters.
As the Isle of Wight Festival approaches, there is no racing at Smallbrook next Tuesday (11th June), with the action returning in just under a fortnight on Tuesday 18th June at 19:00 against the newly formed Kent Kings.
Wightlink Islanders 59:
Adam Ellis 14+3, Darryl Ritchings 12+2, Tom Perry 12, Ben Hopwood 10, Brandon Freemantle 7+3, Tom Young 4+1, Danny Stoneman R/R.
Stoke Potters 34:
Lee Smart 13+1, Luke Priest 8, Kyle Hughes 5, Luke Chessell 4, Ben Reade 2+1, Lee Payne 2, Shaun Tedham 0.
Photographs by Ian Groves