SPEEDWAYWightlink Islanders 43, Sheffield/Scunthorpe Saints 50
THERE was a disappointing end to the Wightlink Islanders’ season on Tuesday night, as the combined Sheffield/Scunthorpe team rode away with 50-43 victory at Smallbrook Stadium.
It all started promisingly, the Islanders juggling their team line up and racing ahead to a ten-point lead after six heats. However, this meant the visitors could open for a tactical ride, worth double points. They duly won the race, picking up eight points and taking charge of the meeting.
The only respite for the Islanders was in heat 13, when visiting rider Ashley Birks was excluded for bringing down home skipper Nick Simmons. In the restart, Paul Starke took the win, with Simmons in second to ensure maximum points, and this gave Islanders a temporary lead.
However, Benji Compton and Adam Wrathall combined in heat 14 to retake the lead for the Saints, before Steve Worrall and Burks wrapped up the points in the final heat.
Team manager Kev Shepherd said: "We really came tonight to give the home supporters a victory to close the season off and to thank them for their sterling support, but fair play to Saints, they deserved the win on the night.
"The track got greasy with the light rain which fell during a large part of he meeting and our visitors coped better with it."
Shepherd said he and the rest of the club would reflect on what went wrong this season, and promised to make amends,
"We are very down at the moment," he said. "We will sit down, reflect on what went wrong and address it for next season, when we will assure all supporters that we will not find ourselves this low in the league table again.
"We assembled a team we thought would go on and do well but it has proved not to be the case,
"The difference in class showed when we raced the top teams and we really have not been resolute enough when under pressure. Although we gave a good account of ourselves, good has not been good enough."