Weymouth 13 Isle of Wight 22
The Isle of Wight ‘Wightlink’ Wizards started their historic first season in the Southern Development League (SDL) with an away trip to Eastbourne to take on Weymouth who are using the East Sussex track as their 2018 base, and what a start for the Island side who turned to Harry Potter for guidance, successfully employing the Expecto Patronum spell (to banish opponents) over the nomadic Wildcats.
SDL matches are run over six heats with four man teams, each rider taking three rides. All of the Wizards riders have been regular attendees at the My First Skid speedway school with Shanklin resident James Luckman proudly wearing the number two race jacket.
With the Island’s Smallbrook track being the biggest in the UK, the tight turns of Arlington presented the riders with a somewhat different challenge, but this was a challenge accepted and overcome by the Wizards as they steadily built a winning margin. With Jamie Sealey clocking three wins and vice captain Ben Ilsley battling through for two, the foundations had been laid and in fact the margin could have been more had James Luckman not had a first race retirement and Chris Watts (pictured) not flipped his bike at the start of heat two.
Overall a great start and joint team manager Sid Sheldrick was understandably delighted after the match. He said, “I’m thrilled with that. We had a good chat before the meeting, shared some experiences and the boys went out and proved that they listened to the advice they were given. My thanks to the Warriors riders who pitched in to sort out one or two mechanical issues and now we can’t wait to get stuck in to our next meeting at Plymouth”.
Wildcats: Luke Barnes 5, James Jessop 1+1, Jacob Fellows 3, Bailey Fellows 4.
Wizards: Jamie Sealey 9, James Luckman 2, Chris Watts 4+1, Ben Ilsley 7+1.