Isle of Wight Warriors 38, Eastbourne Eagles 52

IT WAS a night of disappointment for the Isle of Wight Wightlink Warriors speedway team — unable to contain the all-round power of the Eastbourne Eagles at Ryde's Smallbrook Stadium on Thursday.

The Warriors' on-track determination, met with little luck as a mechanical issue, a starting infringement, various falls and questionable refereeing added to another of frustrating ‘what might have been’ nights.

Isle of Wight County Press:

Warriors big guns, Alfie Bowtell and Ben Morley, both opened their evening's work with convincing race wins, but both riders' third outing went sour.

Bowtell’s machine lost power as he was leading Heat 10, then in the next race, Morley fouled the tapes and had to take a 15-metre handicap.

Morley's huge efforts from the penalty line soon had him on the tail of the Eagles' opening pair, but he was unable to find a path to pass his opponents, who cleverley blocked his progress.

Isle of Wight County Press:

Bowtell, whose eventful night included clocking the fastest time by a Warrior this year, in the very first heat, then suffered a heavy fall in the finale as he tried to make an attacking manoeuvre round the boards on an Esagles front-runner.

His team-mate, Shaun Tedham, also took two falls on the night, again as a result of determined efforts to pass opponents.

The most frustrated Warrior of all was Chris Widman.

Isle of Wight County Press:

Still seeking full fitness following his wrist injury, he looked to be in good shape in Heat 14, only for an Eagles rider to get into trouble and unintentionally block Widman’s line — all after Tedham’s fall had forced a restart.

It was almost a case of déjà-vu as an Eagles rider again controversially forced the Warrior wide, which allowed an Eagles team-mate through.

Warriors co-promoter Barry Bishop reflected on a disappointing result, but a great night’s entertainment.

Isle of Wight County Press:

“It was a really good night of speedway and family fun," said Bishop.

"Some falls and retirements and tape problems didn’t help us, but the boys gave it everything for an enthusiastic crowd.

"Well done to the Eagles, who were just a bit better than us on the night.

"We must now prepare for our trip to Buxton tomorrow (Sunday).


Warriors: Alfie Bowtell 8+1, Danno Verge 4, Scott Campos 9, Chris Widman 2+1, Ben Morley 13, Jamie Sealey 0, Shaun Tedham 2.