The Wightlink Islanders management will be anxiously awaiting a phonecall from in-form reserve Brandon Freemantle who is set to visit his local hospital for further x-rays and treatment on his lower left arm which he damaged in a horrific high speed crash at Smallbrook on Tuesday.
He and Coventry’s Joe Jacobs were dicing for second place in Heat 12 behind Wightlink Islander’s skipper Ben Hopwood when they collided entering the third bend of the third lap and both were thrown from their machines in spectacular fashion, landing heavily and laying prone on the track.
The stadium fell silent as the medical crew raced to the aid of the stricken duo and there was a sense of some relief as Jacobs, who was disqualified from the race by referee Graham Reeve as being the cause of the crash, got to his feet and was able to walk back to the pit area.
Meanwhile Freemantle continued to be attended to but whilst things began to look really serious when the ambulance was called onto the circuit but again those watching from the stand were mightily relieved when the popular teenager, in typical speedway rider fashion, scorned a ride in that and got to his feet to walk back to the pit area.
The paramedic immediately decreed that he was unfit to continue racing in the meeting and Brandon accepted the advice to go to hospital for x-rays on the injury to his left arm that was obviously causing him considerable pain and those x-rays revealed at least one broken bone between his hand and elbow.
His injury certainly dampened the Wightlink Islanders celebrations over their 48-42 victory over league leaders Coventry in a match in which there were never more than four points separating the two sides until the end of heat 15 when Adam Ellis and Ben Hopwood recorded a 4-2 advantage to see the Wightlink Islanders home.
And in winning that final race of the night, Freemantle’s reserve partner Adam Ellis completed a stunningly magnificent 21 points maximum score winning all seven of his races once again demonstrating what an exceptional young talent he is.
Quite what the final score would have been had Wightlink Islanders No.1 Tom Perry been fit to ride will be open to debate bearing in mind that his replacement, Dudley’s Paul Starke, finished fourth in three of his five races and Tom Young made a low key return to the side after his spell on the sidelines, suffering mechanical problems that forced him to retire from two of his four rides.
WIGHTLINK ISLANDERS 48 – COVENTRY STORM 42
Photos: Ian Groves