‘Banana skin’ Diamonds prove Simmons right

Witches team manager Pete Simmons

Witches team manager Pete Simmons - Credit: Archant

Ipswich Witches team boss Pete Simmons admitted the potential ‘banana skin’ that were the Newcastle Diamonds truly bit his side last night at Foxhall Stadium.

Ipswich Witches team boss Pete Simmons admitted the potential ‘banana skin’ that were the Newcastle Diamonds truly bit his side Thursday night at Foxhall Stadium.

The Suffolk side lost their first home meeting of the year, 43-47 after a thrilling encounter that went down to the wire.

And it was the team from the north-east that raced to a final heat 5-1 maximum to take all three Premier League points.

“We knew it was a potential banana skin and sure enough that was how it turned out,” Simmons said after the meeting.

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“All our riders had a decent first ride, but after that we didn’t push on.

“Newcastle are a top team. We knew that, but we are very disappointed, we should have won this.”

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After going eight points up and looking dominant early on, the Witches were pegged back mid-meeting and with five heats remaining it was all square.

With nothing to separate the sides going into the final heat, the Diamonds gated to the front and as the Witches chased, Rohan Tungate accidently took partner Ben Barker wide and the race was over.

“I told Rohan where I would be. We spoke about it before the race,” said Barker.

“But that’s the way it goes. We weren’t good enough and didn’t make the starts.”

Tungate had been the Witches top performer, but he was left shattered in the pits after the final race loss.

“I missed the start in that final race and then I got pushed wide and I pushed Ben wide too,” he said.

“I know I did it, it wasn’t deliberate, I just got pushed wide. We are all very disappointed.”

The meeting itself in front of a good crowd was a cracker, with some great racing.

But Ipswich cannot afford any more slip-ups and now they face three tricky away meetings, starting at Berwick Saturday night and the return leg at Newcastle on Sunday.

There is no meeting at Foxhall next Thursday, with the Witches travelling to Plymouth for a third successive away Premier League meeting next Friday.

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