There was a defeat for the Island’s Wightlink Warriors speedway team at the hands of defending league champions Birmingham.

For the Warriors, Ben Wilson started with two quick wins but he looped his bike at the start of heat 10 and took a heavy fall that looked to effect him later on. Connor Coles made a steady debut and James Cockle was his usual persistent self, however with the Warriors shorthanded in two races, they just had no answer to a strong Brummies performance led by Liam Carr, Zach Wajtknecht, Tom Bacon and Layne Cupitt.

Frustrated co-promoter Barry Bishop reflected on a disappointing evening:

“We really believed that our new look side would be able to match and better the Brummies, but things turned sour when we failed to agree on a contractual matter with Tyler and his representative.

“With no time to organise a replacement, this thrust unacceptable pressure on to the lads and Jamie Sealey in particular. I know the result is not entirely down to this one incident but it did unsettle our guys needlessly and that reflected in some of our riding tonight. On a positive note, we ended the meeting with a super heat of speedway – a building block with which to move forward.”

Wightlink Warriors: Ben Wilson 6, Kelsey Dugard 4, James Cockle 10, Chris Widman 4+1, Connor Coles 11, Jamie Sealey 2

Surestop Brummies: Zach Wajtknecht 10+1, Layne Cupitt 8+3, Tom Bacon 11+1, Liam Carr 15, Macauley Leek 3+1, Alex Spooner 6+2.

Warriors will be hoping for improved showings this weekend as the travel to Belle Vue Colts on Friday (16) and Mildenhall on Sunday.