Darryl Ritchings became the latest Islanders’ casualty on Tuesday night.
WIGHTLINK Islanders were unable to overturn the massive deficit from their first leg defeat by Dudley Heathens on Tuesday night, and so exited the National League play-offs at the semi-final stage.
The side lost by four points at Smallbrook Stadium to make it 108-72 in Dudley’s favour on aggregate. In fairness, the 47-43 defeat was an encouraging results, especially after the injury-hit Islanders lost Darryl Ritchings in his first heat to a crash which broke his ankle.
It means the Islanders have only three fit riders out of their squad for next week’s other semi-final in the Knock-out Cup, against Mildenhall, where they have a ten-point deficit to overturn.
Co-manager Kev Shepherd said: "The riders responded as we wanted them to and nobody can be faulted for lack of effort.
"The biggest loss was losing our remaining rider from our original seven from the start of the year. Darryl broke his ankle in his first ride, which meant a very busy night for the two reserves.
"After Darryl’s crash the meeting result was insignificant really. He and his family have been a real pleasure to work with this year and it’s a sad way for his season to end."
The meeting saw a welcome return to form for Tom Perry, with 15 points, with stand-in Steve Worrall producing the goods once more with a 13-point haul. Danny Stoneman contributed nine.
Islanders must now regroup ahead of their Knock-out Cup semi-final with Mildenhall at Smallbrook Stadium, which takes place on Tuesday, from 7pm.