Buoyed by Monday’s away win against the Kent Kings in the first leg of their KO Cup tie, the young Wightlink Islanders side went into last night’s first home National League match of the season against the Stoke Potters confident of victory.
The Islanders team thumped their opponents from Staffordshire by 46 clear points, supplying no less than 14 of the 15 heat winners in the process as they romped to a quite amazing 68-22 victory.
They were all in imperious form from start to finish and simply unstoppable throughout although King’s Lynn’s Lewis Rose, deputising for injured Potters’ heat leader Ben Reade, prevented us recording a perfect fifteen out of fifteen race winners when he headed home our pairing of skipper Ben Hopwood and No.1 Tom Perry in the re-run of the very last heat of the match.
That race had to be re-run because with Hopwood leading and Perry trying to find a way through to claim second place behind him, Stoke’s skipper Luke Priest took a spectacular tumble on the pit bend leaving referee Dan Holt no alternative other than to stop the race and order a re-run without him and enable the medical crew get quickly to him.
Thankfully, and to everyone’s relief, after getting his breath back as it were, he was able to get to his feet and walk back to the pits unaided having sustained nothing more serious than a little dented pride.
Handed a second chance courtesy of his partner’s misfortune at the first time of asking, Rose led the re-run from start to finish to become Stoke’s only race winner on the night and spoil Ben Hopwood’s maximum in the process.
WIGHTLINK ISLANDERS 68 STOKE POTTERS 22
Wightlink Islanders scorers: Adam Ellis 15 (maximum), Ben Hopwood 14, Tom Perry 11+1, Brandon Freemantle 10+4, Lewis Kerr 9+3 (four ride paid maximum), Darryl Ritchings 9+2.