OXFORD Cheetahs won the Cliff Peasley Trophy by a single point after a dramatic final race on the Isle of Wight.

Gordon Kennett’s men were already victors on the night going into the very last heat, but trailed the host team on aggregate.

Connor Coles completed a maximum and Charley Powell pulled off a thrilling move inside Danno Verge on the final bend of the second lap.

It gave Cheetahs the 4-2 they needed to reach 98 points, one more than Wightlink Warriors and 23 clear of Cradley Heath, to complete a remarkable turnaround.

They had trailed the hosts by 18 points after a horror first leg that saw them lose captain Nathan Stoneman and James Laker to injury, but Coles and Powell came in to inspire victory in the following two rounds.

“It was a great team effort,” said Kennett.

“Every point counted, from Connor Coles scoring a superb maximum, Charley Powell coming through to take that vital third place in the final race, Ryan Terry-Daley scoring well throughout the night, and Jamie Sealey chipping in with some important points.

“It’s been a brilliant effort to recover after the first leg, when everything went wrong for us.

“I’m very pleased that we’ve flown the Oxford flag at these meetings, which we have provided some great racing.

“Barry Bishop, Martin Widman and everyone put on a fabulous show here on the Isle Of Wight.

“It was nice to see so many Oxford fans over here for this concluding leg.

“Hopefully next season, those supporters will see speedway at their own track, while we can also come back over here to try to defend the trophy.”

Coles won all of his five races at the Smallbrook Stadium in Ryde to claim 15 points, while Powell’s three victories put him on 12.

Terry-Daley scored 8+3 for the second meeting in a row and Jamie Sealey added what proved a priceless three points.

Cheetahs started the evening seven points behind Warriors and that gap grew to eight after three races.

But Coles and Terry-Daley began to make up ground on their rivals in heat four, capitalising on Alex Spooner’s 15-metre handicap to pass Chad Wirtzfeld and secure a 5-1.

The top two riders from each team started races four to 12 off a 15-metre handicap and it made for some top-quality entertainment.

In heat eight, Coles reeled in Verge on the back straight of the third lap following a spectacular battle.

Cheetahs claimed five heat advantages in a row early in the meeting and Warriors were only one point ahead after heat nine, with the teams neck and neck after 12 races.

Cradley Heath posted a 4-2 over Cheetahs in the next heat in what was a blow to their hopes, but the Black Country club then did Kennett’s side a favour with a 3-3 against the Isle of Wight in No 14.

It set up a nerve-shredding final race and the bumper crowd watched Cheetahs claim victory.


Oxford: Connor Coles 15, Charley Powell 12, Ryan Terry-Daley 8+3, Jamie Sealey 3. Total: 38 points (98 on agg).

Isle Of Wight: Chad Wirtzfeld 11+1, Danno Verge 11, Alex Spooner 8+2, Morgan Williams 0. Total: 30 points (97 on agg).

Cradley: Chris Widman 10, Chris Watts 7+2, Jon Armstrong 4, Scott Campos 1+1. Total: 22 points (75 on agg).