A financial dispute between Ryde Arena Limited and the rink’s landowners have left the Raiders without home ice and unable to compete for the remainder of 2016/17 and the foreseeable future. As a result the Wightlink Raiders will withdraw from competition after playing the Invicta Dynamos at the Silver Blades Gillingham in the NIHL Southern Cup on Sunday 23rd October 2016. In hand with the rest of the hockey community the Dynamos are deeply saddened by this development that will now see the country lose one of its most revered sides.
Speaking on the news club Director Jackie Mason said, “The Invicta Dynamos’ first ever game was against the Raiders when we began in 1997 and it’s desperately sad that we are now their final opponents as their hockey journey comes to an end in 2016. The Raiders have always been one of our fiercest opponents and toughest rivals and a mutual respect has existed between the teams ever since that first puck drop. Road trips to the Isle of Wight have been a favourite away day for both the players and supporters whilst the Raiders’ trips to Gillingham have always been hotly anticipated.
“With this in mind we urge as many of our fans as possible to fill the SilverBlades and support our side whilst giving the Raiders the send-off they deserve. Fixtures against Wightlink have always been fast, physical and a great advert for hockey and Sunday’s tie is unlikely to be any different as Jeremy Cornish dresses for his team one final time. Whilst our squad will be doing their utmost to secure the win on the ice, off the ice we wish all the Raiders players, staff and fans brighter times ahead and hope that one day, in the not too distant future, hockey will make a triumphant return to the island”.
The Invicta Dynamos host the Wightlink Raiders in the NIHL Southern Cup in Gillingham from 5.15pm. Doors open at 4.30pm.