ISLE OF WIGHT SPEEDWAY ROUND-UP
By Isle of Wight Speedway | Monday 21st May 2012
RAMPANT ISLANDERS ROMP TO VICTORY DESPITE GARY'S PROBLEMS EN ROUTE
The Wightlink Islanders romped to a magnificent 50-40 victory at the home of the Buxton Hitmen in their away National League match in the Derbyshire Dales
this afternoon and did so against all odds. They were placed under pressure before the match had even begun when they learnt that in-form reserve Gary
Cottham's van had broken down en route and that he and his dad hoped though, to limp home in it, change vehicles and then head north again.
That the duo did but they hadn't arrived when the meeting got underway and some of Gary's team mates had difficulty in adjusting to track conditions in the
early stages with the surface seemingly having been over watered and that meant that, despite skipper Danny Warwick recording wins in his first two rides,
the home side led 31-23 after nine of the fifteen heats had been completed.
But what a transformation in fortunes transpired for the two sides battling for victory from that point onwards with Cottham's arrival seemingly acting as the
catalyst for the Wightlink Islanders producing what can only be described as a quite brilliant comeback. Warwick made it three wins out of three in heat 10
and with Aaron Baseby third, the home side's lead was down to six and that was quickly reduced to just two points at 34-32 with Ben Hopwood and Kyle
Hughes finishing first and second in the next race.
Making light of his traumatic journey and taking his first of two rides in the match, Cottham followed Warwick home ahead of homester Luke Priest and, from
being eight points behind earlier, the rampant Islanders now led by two points at 37-35 and it was a lead they were determined to retain to take the match
victory. In fact they did even better than just remain ahead until then end for they took all four league points available to them by extending their winning
margin to ten points and fittingly skipper Danny Warwick ensured that happened by following home Kyle Hughes for the Wightlink Islanders' fourth maximum
score of the match completing his own well deserved paid maximum in the process.
Speaking afterwards joint team manager Chris Hunt said, "It seemed that everything was going against us and we were about to slide to another defeat but
what a comeback the lads produced to come from those eight points behind with just six races to go to ultimately win by ten points. It was a brilliant effort
from them given all the circumstances and both Kevin Shepherd and I are very proud of the fact that they repaid the faith we have showed in them by not
making changes after last Tuesday's home defeat. Hopefully this win will give them the confidence they need to believe in themselves and I'm confident that
we'll build on this by defeating Stoke in our next National League match at home on Tuesday."
SCORERS FROM SUNDAY:
Buxton Hitmen 40: Robert Branford 8, Richard Andrews 1, Luke Priest 6+1, Dean Felton 10+1, Adam McKinna 6+1, Michael Neale 1+1, Ryan Blacklock 8.
Wightlink Islanders 50: Kyle Hughes 8+3, Ben Hopwood 9, Danny Warwick 14+1, Aaron Baseby 3+1, Paul Starke 7, Danny Stoneman 5, Gary Cottham 4+
AND NOW TO POT THOSE POTTERS, GAIN REVENGE AND MORE LEAGUE POINTS...
Fresh from the brilliant ten point away win at Buxton on Sunday, the Wightlink Islanders are now looking to avenge the two point aggregate defeat they
suffered in the earlier home and away Wightlink Trophy challenge encounter at the hands of Malcolm Vasey and his Stoke Easy Rider Potters when the two
sides clash in the National League at Smallbrook on Tuesday.
"We were very disappointed not to have won over those two legs," said Islanders' skipper Danny Warwick, "And that’s made us all even more determined to
beat them with league points are at stake this week. By the way we performed at Buxton we've shown that we are a good side and now it's up to us riders to
perform well consistently and repay the faith being shown in us by the management and our brilliant fans on the island."
As far as team line ups are concerned for this Tuesday's league clash that gets underway at 7.30pm, we'll be tracking an unchanged side once again whilst
the only planned change to the Stoke line up from that which drew 45-45 at Smallbrook on May 8th, sees both No.1 Ashley Birks and Jamie Pickard return to
their side after injury. Main two danger men in their line up, as they showed in the earlier match, are Richie Worrall who was unbeaten by one of our riders on
that earlier occasion and did UK speedway proud by finishing second in Saturday's 2012 World Under 21 Championship quarter final at Blijham in Holland,
and reserve Ben Reade who'll be hoping to repeat and indeed improve on his 13 points score that night.
As to the duo that missed that match, 21 years old Ashley Birks hails from Sheffield and is a former motocross rider who has made rapid strides since
deciding to take up speedway, He's also a former British Under 19 indoor cycle speedway champion. 22 years old Jamie Pickard is a former protege of ex-
Islander Dean Felton and has previously ridden for Plymouth and Newport in the early stages of his speedway education. So it might well prove another tough
night for the Wightlink Islanders at Smallbrook but, having pulled off that brilliant away win at Buxton, they are determined to follow that up with another victory
and the league points.