Wightlink Islanders suffered heat 15 heartache yesterday afternoon in South Wales with their best away performance of the year so far resulting in a 4 point defeat at the hands of Newport 47-43.
The Islanders had the slight edge and could do no wrong up until heat 9 where after being 8 points up the Islanders suffered a 5-1 reversal with Paul Starke unable to find a way past race winner Brendan Johnson and Matt Bates. Two more shared heats followed until heat 12 where the Hornets fired in another 5-1 to level the meeting with James White-Williams returning to form for the Hornets and Johnson in the thick of things battling with Danny Warwick.
With just 3 heats left tension mounted after heats 13 and 14 were shared evenly to take the meeting down to the wire. Hornets number 1 Todd Kurtz stepped up to record a fine 5 ride maximum with Jay Herne 2nd denying the Islanders Starke and Nick Simmons.
But on a positive note the Islanders travel back across the water with a league point for their troubles. Co-promoter Chris Hunt said, “It was a good all round performance, we deserved much more than a point , it’s a shame we couldn’t of come away with 3 points but that’s how it goes. I’d like to think that that could be a turning point but if there is any luck going especially bad luck we get it, although luck didn’t come into it today.”
Co-promoter Kevin Shepherd said, ” Newport they produced a good race track that we thought would play into our hands and for the first 8 heats it did so but they came back at us and took 2 points off us.
” Yet again it was another meeting of two halves. The first 8 heats we could do no wrong the boys rode well but, in the second half we were 3rd best with them running out of steam. Newport came back strong and turned the meeting around. It was for us to win and not for them to win but it’s our first point on the road,” concluded Shepherd.
A late change for the Islanders WPA Open Championship tomorrow evening at Smallbrook sees Tim Webster withdraw after taking a heavy fall on Saturday night at Stoke, at this time the club are unable to confirm who will take his place.