Wightlink Islanders suffered a home defeat at the hands of Stoke Potters on Tuesday evening putting a serious dent into any chance of a play off place for the league with the Potters winning by 6 points, 42-48.
Again Islanders skipper Nick Simmons was in excellent form with a 13 point return and Danny Warwick back on the pace with a 9 point haul after his late start to the season. For the Potters Simon Lambert became the National leagues fasters man around Smallbrook by taking the National league track record to 66.6 seconds from previous holder Simmons time of 67.7 set two years ago, although Lambert was still a way off Jason Bunyan’s all time track record of 66.3 set while the Islanders were in the Premier league.
Lambert also had solid support from Tim Webster and Tony Atkin and solid scores throughout bar Ben Reade at reserve who failed to score.
It was a very disappointing night at the races for the Islanders with Paul Starke being forced out of the meeting after bending the frame of his only bike. Starke is possibly facing up to pulling out of the sport for a while to regroup due to lack of finance to invest into replacement machinery. He recently wrecked a complete machine bar the engine in an horrific crash at King’s Lynn and now after damaging his bike on Tuesday faces an uphill struggle to keep going for the Islanders.
Starke said, “My engines are fast but it’s all the other equipment that is the problem for me at the moment. I have 4 frames that have all been bent, 3 pairs of forks that are no good although I have 2 other sets of forks but they won’t last much longer. Financially I just can’t afford to go on, another £1500 worth of damage to the bike has really hit me hard. I can’t ask people to give me large amounts of money but any small offers would be really appreciated, every little bit really does add up and help.”
Any offers of help can be forwarded to the Islanders press officer who will be pleased to put them in contact with Starke, his details can be found on the Islanders official website www.iowislanders.co
Starke concluded, “Any kind of help even so much per point scored, or for oil or fuel, maybe even a tyre all helps, I put everything I earn back into my bikes and engine bills as it’s not cheap to run in this sport. Even a number one in the National league isn’t making much once all the bills have been covered, I keep dipping into my dad’s pocket all the time and he just can’t afford to keep helping me to the extent he is at present.”
Steady scores from Rob Smith, Luke Chessell and Gary Cottham and a little bit of over enthusiasm from Charlie Saunders making his proper home debut were just not quite enough for the Islanders in front of a packed Smallbrook stadium.
Islanders co-promoter Hunt said, “We knew it was going to be tough, it was just another frustrating evening for us. The boys ended up with 4 bikes between them, I’m a little bit lost for words but we have just got to bounce back from this and not be on too much of a downer really.”
With Saunders making his proper debut, after not riding a speedway bike for a couple of years while concentrating on Grasstrack, Hunt added, “I think Charlie is going to be really good, he’s very brave and after a few meeting he will be scoring lots of points for us.”
Warwick looked much more comfortable back at Smallbrook boosting his confidence with a couple of race wins after a tough start to his season with everyone else getting a few months head start. “We knew it would take Danny a few weeks to get going so we are pleased that he is back doing what we know he can do,” concluded Hunt.