WEYMOUTH Wildcats closed the gap to leaders Cradley Heath after a pulsating second leg of the Michael Richardson Trophy at Smallbrook Stadium, Ryde.

Hosts Isle of Wight Warriors, who came third in the opening leg, turned the tables to take victory with 34 points, Wildcats in second (28) and Cradley (27) edged into third.

It means the third and final leg is set up beautifully, with five points covering the three teams.

Cradley (62) currently lead from Weymouth (60) and the Warriors (57).

READ MORE: Weymouth Wildcats shine to take second spot

However, had fortune gone their way, Weymouth might have staked a claim for top spot after two untimely falls for Paul Bowen, theoretically costing the Wildcats five points.

George Congreve was in sublime form for Weymouth, booking a 13+1 haul while Henry Atkins scored 12 to continue his immense record at Ryde.

Bowen’s 2+1 did not do his efforts justice, while the ever-improving youngster Sam Peters added a further point for a solid Wildcats squad.

Speaking to Echosport, co-promoter James Tresadern said: “It could’ve been a lot closer, Paul fell off twice. Once while he was leading and once while he was following George round.

“That would’ve been five points added on but he was struggling with the track, because it’s starting to get bumpy now. He’s not been riding regularly.

“We couldn’t ask for anything more from the guys. George, why he hasn’t got a Championship team is beyond me.

“He’s an absolute rock, he’s brilliant to work with, talk to and he’s great around the pits.

“Henry, he’s just out to prove people wrong. He’s absolutely on fire.

“Sam got one point and had one fall and a bike failure. Paul did all right, he was hooked up quick to the track and got points on the board, which is all we could ask for.

“He was gutted himself because he knew the five points were points he needn’t have dropped.”

Ryde will host the third and deciding leg on Tuesday, August 16.