Speedway: Isherwood makes immediate Mildenhall impression
STOKE Easy Rider Potters asset Gareth Isherwood quickly made up for lost time after 12 months on the sidelines.
The 22-year-old, who suffered a back problem last year, joined the Potters' National League rivals Mildenhall Fen Tigers – the track where he was injured – on loan to help his comeback.
Isherwood made an immediate impact, scoring 8+3 on his debut as the Fen Tigers won 44-50 at Loomer Road on Saturday, before adding a 5+1 at West Row the following day as Mildenhall beat Buxton.
"It couldn't have been much better really," said the Manchester-based rider, who has replaced the injured Aaron Baseby in the Suffolk side's line-up.
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"I'd had one practice session the week before and was basically thinking that I'd do a bit more of that and let people know that I want to ride again next season.
"When Mildenhall phoned I was a bit surprised, but we sorted everything out in a couple of phone calls and then I just got on with it.
"To be honest, I have enough experience now and didn't need a lot of practice to get back in the swing of things.
"I was fairly good out of the starts and had enough speed, though, I didn't have the races all my own way and had to hold my nerve and line a few times when other riders were trying to find a way through."
And after being given the thumbs up by medical experts, Isherwood could even finish with some silverware with the Fen Tigers looking to add a couple more trophies to their collection after clinching the National League Fours earlier in the campaign.
"I've had the all clear from the hospital and all this is a bit of a bonus right now. Then you stop and think that Mildenhall are in the play-offs and the Knockout Cup Final and you start to think 'wow'," he added.
"I'm really looking forward to the last few weeks of this season.
"I've got no hang ups about riding at Mildenhall because the accident wasn't a racing fault – it was mechanical problems."
STOKE will face Dudley Heathens in the National League play-offs.
The Potters make the trip south for the first leg on Tuesday, September 25.
The second leg will be held at Loomer Road on Tuesday, October 3.