The Warriors speedway team played host to the National League leaders Belle Vue Colts at the Andrew Younie Smallbrook Stadium yesterday evening (Tuesday) and sadly were on the wrong end of a ruthless display of speed and power by the men from Manchester.
Warriors’ skipper James Cockle was a late withdrawal suffering from a sickness bug and the rider replacement facility was used to cover his absence, whilst Belle Vue arrived without their 2 star English youngsters Dan Bewley and Jack Smith. With their third heat leader Lee Payne also out injured, Colts were permitted to bring in 2 guest riders and chose Island specialist Matt Williamson (Buxton) and the flamboyant Danny Ayres (Cradley).
It was clear from the off that the Colts meant business with Williamson and Kyle Bickley outpacing the returning Ben Wilson to open with a maximum. The visitors extended their lead in heat 2 as Andy Mellish passed Adam Portwood for the lead with Luke Woodhull benefiting from Jamie Sealey’s carburetor problems after the Warriors reserve had overhauled his opponent.
Heat 3 saw Wilson record the Warriors’ first and only race win on the night because after that it was one way traffic as the Colts piled on the points. Williamson claimed a 5 ride maximum and received excellent back up from the fast and uncompromising Danny Ayres who recorded the quickest winning time since the opening meeting of the season on his way to a paid maximum. With Bickley and Rob Shuttleworth also scoring heavily it was to be a big pay day for the visitors.
Although not reflected by the score, all the Warriors tried their very hardest, none more so than Connor Coles who had the unenviable task of facing Williamson, Ayres or both in 5 of his 6 rides. 8 points was scant reward for a battling display.
As the dust settled, co-promoter Barry Bishop reflected on the nights racing:
“Hats off to Belle Vue Colts. They showed tonight why they lead this league and they chose their guests very shrewdly.
“It’s a shame that our fans missed out on seeing Dan Bewley and Jack Smith, hopefully they will come over at some stage in the future. James absence was also unfortunate but the Colts were so strong I doubt the skippers presence would have made a massive difference, anyway what’s done is done and we now look forward to next week and the visit of Eastbourne”.
Wightlink Warriors 28 | Cool Running Colts 62
Warriors: Ben Wilson 6+1, Chris Widman 4, Rider Replacement for James Cockle, Scott Campos 6, Connor Coles 8, Jamie Sealey 0, Adam Portwood 4+2
Colts: Matt Williamson 15, Kyle Bickley 11+3, Rob Shuttleworth 13+1, Rider Replacement for Jack Smith, Danny Ayres 15+3, Andy Mellish 6, Luke Woodhull 2
The Warrior’s next home meeting is on Thursday 31st August when Eastbourne take on the Warriors at the Andrew Younie and in a fixture addition Warriors will travel to Eastbourne on Saturday 2nd September.