PLAY-off chasing Eastbourne Eagles will be the latest challengers for the Isle of Wight Wightlink Warrors in a crucial National League fixture at Ryde's Smallbrook Stadium on Thursday.

This will be the Warriors' final home league meeting of the season against a team who have already tasted success on two previous occasions against them at Smallbrook this season, in both the Knock Out Cup and in the National Trophy.

Isle of Wight County Press:

Warriors rider Alfie Bowtell will come up against the Eastbourne Eagles for the first time for the Islanders.

The fast-paced Island circuit will not hold any fears for the likes of Eastbourne's former Isle of Wight Warrior, Mark Baseby, in a very competitive Eagles squad .

This week will be the first time Warriors number one Alfie Bowtell will face the Eagles for the Island side.

But he too was in the wars last weekend, taking an awkward fall at Newcastle while racing for Lakeside in the National Championship.

However, Bowtell said he is determined to line up alongside Ben Morley and Scott Campos for the fixture.

Isle of Wight County Press:

There are sure to be some exciting battles as well amont the lower order riders — and it is their performances that may well swing the result one way or the other.

With Warriors team member Jamie Bursill away in Spain, Jamie Sealey will step into an otherwise unchanged home side.

Co-promoter Barry Bishop is looking forward to another great meeting with Eastbourne.

“I can’t really believe this match completes our home league programme," said Bishop.

Isle of Wight County Press:

"We could hardly have asked for a tougher finish, having to take on the Fen Tigers and the Eagles at Smallbrook in our last two home league fixtures, but it is what it is and we'll be working overtime to try to round our season off on a winning note.

"We have had some fantastic nights at Smallbrook this season and I’m sure we’re in for some classic on-track action — and off-track fun — this week and next when we close our season with the Wightlink September Showdown."

The early Warriors team news for Thursday will see Alfie Bowtell, Danno Verge, Scott Campos, Chris Widman, Ben Morley, Jamie Sealey and Shaun Tedham line-up against the Eagles.

Isle of Wight County Press:

As usual, gates open at 5.30pm, with pre-match demonstrations from 6.15pm and the rider parade at 6.45pm, followed immediately by the first race, with tapes up at 7pm.