Wightlink Islanders 55, Mildenhall Fen Tigers 39
WIGHTLINK Islanders put in a great performance to defeat Mildenhall in speedway’s National Trophy last week.
However, it was touch and go whether the match would take place, after a late deluge almost waterlogged the track at Smallbrook.
The circuit had been watered in late afternoon as part of normal procedure prior to a meeting but a heavy thunderstorm threw even more water on the track just 45 minutes prior to the scheduled start.
But the rain ceased and after on-track consultations the start was put back by half an hour, so the track staff and co-promoters Kevin Shepherd and Chris Hunt could get rid of the surface water.
When the racing did begin, the Islanders raced into the lead and held an 11-point advantage after six heats.
Mildenhall used their double-points gamble twice but despite this Islanders never looked in danger of being defeated, as skipper Danny Warwick won all his five races for a perfect night.
He received good backing from each of his team-mates, with home riders only occupying last place in three of the 15 races.
They could not repeat the success on Saturday when they lost by ten points to Rye House Raiders.
Rye House Raiders 50, Wightlink Islanders 40
The Islanders let a 34-32 lead slip with four heats remaining, winning no points at all.
Mark Baseby and Paul Starke fell, but both were unhurt. Starke was top man with 12 points from seven rides, with Ben Hopwood scoring eight points from five rides.
Chris Hunt said: "We really should have won the match or at least restricted the Raiders’ winning margin to six points or less to pick up a point. But to do neither and ending up beaten by ten points is unbelievable.
"We’re not at all happy as you can imagine and I just hope today hasn’t cost us a place in the play-offs as fifth-placed Scunthorpe are just two points behind us and we’ve both got two matches left."
The Islanders are in action tonight (Tuesday) at league leaders Dudley, and will be next at home next Tuesday, when they host Stoke at Smallbrook, again in the National Trophy.