SPEEDWAYWightlink Islanders 57, USA Futures team 33
ISLANDERS’ positive start to the season continued on Tuesday night with a challenge victory over America’s up-and-coming stars.
With maximums for new skipper Danny Warwick and Paul Starke, the US side had just one heat victory to their name, which came their way when the heavens opened at the start of heat 13.
Apart from that the Islanders were relatively untroubled throughout the meeting.
Warwick and Starke were well supported by guest Tim Webster’s ten points, Ben Hopwood’s nine and an 8+1 for Gary Cottham. It wasn’t all plain sailing though as Marc Owen suffered mechanical problems throughout the night.
Co-promoter Kevin Shepherd said: "It was a good fair result and full praise for both teams seeing the meeting out after the rain hit us. After the machinery problems that Paul Starke has suffered the last couple of away meetings it was good to see him go through the card and help his confidence."
Rye House Raiders 49, Wightlink Islanders 46
There is all to play for in the second leg of the knock-out cup between these sides, as Islanders came away from Rye House just three points down.
Despite struggling to get to grips with the Raiders’ track, and the hosts opening up a 12-point lead by heat ten, Islanders ground out the points late in the day to keep them in contention.
Guest Webster again impressed with 10+1, with Owen scoring 9+1 and Hopwood recording 7+1.
Co-promoter Chris Hunt said "We didn’t get to grips at all with the track early on so it was a little disappointing to be honest. We rode our luck and we’re still there fighting."
Next Tuesday Islanders take on Stoke in the second leg of the Wightlink Challenge Trophy. Tapes go up at Smallbrook Stadium at 7.30pm.