The Isle of Wight’s Wightlink Warriors half drew the curtains on the 2019 speedway season on Thursday night as they staged a special 3-team challenge between outfits named after the vessels of the club’s principal sponsors.
Why curtains half closed? Well simply the Warriors are now in a tense waiting game with continuation of the season in the National League play-off semi-finals dependant on the results of 8 key meetings involving their 3 rivals. Those matches take place between now and 19th September.
Speedway under floodlights is always special and as the 3 nautically named teams’ fortunes ebbed and flowed, it was Warriors stalwart captain Ben Morley who shone out, riding unbeaten in the team competition for Victoria of Wight and leading them to victory despite suffering a very painful tooth abscess.
Another Warrior and Victorian to light up the night sky was young Chad Wirtzfeld who displayed admirable speed, highlighted by an excellent pass on St. Clare’s Jordan Palin in heat 12, the visiting Belle Vue Colt again showing excellent potential and maturity on his third visit to the Island. It’s also right to mention Joe Lawlor, the Manchester based Stoke Potter, winner of the Wight Coast Holidays handicap meeting during August, who returned an all action 10 point score for St Faith in the team event before going on to pass Jordan Palin to take a super win in the top scores Grand Final.
Speaking after the meeting, Warriors co-promoter told the fans:
“Martin (Widman) and I would like to thank everybody associated with the club for making it another progressive and successful season.
“We are desperate to put on a play-off semi-final for you and the riders are just as keen to show you what they can do. We have a really tough meeting to deal with at Leicester on Tuesday and then I think we will have to sit back and see how our rivals get on. It could well go down to the meeting at Plymouth against Mildenhall on 19 September and maybe even race points after that. Rest assured we will keep all our media partners and outlets right up to date so please do keep looking in on developments.
“Can I just say a special thank you tonight to John Thorburn and Jim Greenacre who at the end of every year make a cash award to a Warrior of their choice and this time they both agree that Ben Morley was the rightful recipient. Thank you John and Jim and well done Ben”.
Victoria of Wight 26 | St. Clare 24 | St. Faith 22
Victoria of Wight: Ben Morley 12, Joe Alcock 3+1, Chad Wirtzfeld 10, Morgan Williams 1.
St. Clare: Jordan Palin 10, Ryan Terry-Daley 5+5, Chris Widman 8, Chris Watts 1+1.
St. Faith: Joe Lawlor 10, Scott Campos 5+3, Connor King 5, Jamie Sealey 2+1.