THE Isle of Wight speedway season got underway with success for the Wightlink Warriors.

The much-anticipated Nora No Brakes Racing League — which presents a different type of speedway to a new audience using a tried and trusted Warriors meeting template — was played out in front of an enthusiastic and appreciative crowd at the Iwade track in Kent on Sunday.

The packed programme featured races with a mix of experienced riders, up-and-coming trainees, youth group skidders and the cute 'pee-wee' triers, were brought together in an entertaining 36-heat format.

The main event, the Nora League competition, featured four teams of four riders, going wheel-to-wheel in Leg 1 of the tournament.

Isle of Wight County Press: Arran Butcher in action for the Warriors.Arran Butcher in action for the Warriors. (Image: Sportography)

After 16 heats of elbow-to-elbow action, the Warriors were able to see off the sustained challenge of Cradley, Sittingbourne and Plymouth to secure a four-point advantage to take into Leg 2, also hosted at Iwade, this coming Sunday (4).

The Warriors score could have been even better had it not been for never-say-die Kiwi George Congreve, who lostt his steel shoe mid-race, or Rhys Naylor, who took a heavy third race tumble.

It was a particularly tough afternoon for Naylor, who blew a newly-serviced engine after his first race and is now facing a hefty repair bill.

Top scorer for the Island side was Ben Morley with a maximum 12 points, with an immaculate display of starting and passing on a track where he was once a regular.

Isle of Wight County Press: Speedway action at Smallbrook.Speedway action at Smallbrook. (Image: Ian Groves)

Morley was given solid support from Arran Butcher, who bagged two wins in a total of nine points.

Integrated into the main event was an eight-heat training match, between the Isle of Wight Wizards and the Weymouth Wildcats.

These lesser experienced riders certainly did not hold back — suffering one or two tumbles along the way, but with no serious harm — but it was the solid Dorset outfit who took a deserved win.

Also integrated into the programme were eight heats for riders in the youth category, who jumped at the chance to gain some invaluable track time and experience.

Three regulars from the Island’s training school, My First Skid, joined the action.

Tia Brant was excellent, recording three race wins and gaining a whole new fan club as the sole female rider on track.

Charlie Southwick again showed his undoubted potential — his points return belying the effort put in — while Charlie Green, on an unfamiliar track, took an alarming fall, but in true Warrior fashion was soon up on his feet charming everyone with his cheeky smile.

Finally, the pee-wee races were a delight, with each rider taking four races and showing there is plenty of future potential out there.

After the meeting, Warriors co-owner, Barry Bishop, said: “What an excellent day for the Warriors and everyone connected with us. It was marvellous for our club to be part of this historic fixture, with thanks to all those who worked tirelessly to get the No Brakes Racing project up and running.

"Our team manager, Steve Piper, is confident the league title is coming across The Solent, and the boys out on track certainly showed enough to suggest his aspiration could well come true.

"It was also good to give the Wizards some valuable track time, on a circuit very different to Smallbrook. The same goes for our youth riders, who had a great time learning to adapt to a much smaller track.

"All in all, a great start to our season and we look forward to our next meeting at Iwade on Sunday."

                                                    ALL THE RESULTS

Nora No Brakes Racing League, Leg 1 — 1 Isle of Wight 32 (Ben Morley 12, Arran Butcher 9, Rhys Naylor 6, George Congreave 5), 2 Cradley 28 (Alfie Bowtell 10, Tom Spencer 8, Chris Widman 7, Chris Watts 3), 3 Sittingbourne 22 (Tom Woolley 9, Brayden McGuinness 7, Sam Woolley 3, Jack Kingston 3), 4 Plymouth 14 (Luke Harris 7, Ben Trigger 4, Alex Spooner 3, Patryk Daniszewski 0).

Training match — 1 Isle of Wight Wizards 20 (Eli Meadows 11, Morgan Williams 6, Harley Freeman 3, Daniel Lee 0), 2 Weymouth Wildcats 28 (Nathan Hargrave 10, James Laker 7+1, Sam Peters 7, Vinny Smith 4+2).

Youth event — Charlie Prior 11, Tia Brant 10, Joseph Brice 9, Charlie Southwick 6, Adam Sidyk 5, Charlie Green 2.

Pee-wee races — Oscar Berwick 12, Mason Dunn 7, Isaac Berwick 5.