Captain Hawkins to the fore as Witches lose by four
- Credit: Picture: Steve Waller
Ipswich ‘Sackers’ Witches skipper Ritchie Hawkins bounced back to form as the Foxhall side gave themselves a great chance to progression to the next round of the knock-out cup.
Hawkins, who has been underfire recently for a strong of low scores after an early season broken rib, rocketed to three heat wins and 14 points with the Witches restricting the Bandits first leg lead to just four.
Both sides were without key riders on an international night of racing that saw many teams up and down the country decimated.
The Witches found a superb guest for Danny King (riding for Coventry in the Elite League), in Richard Lawson.
He was another who won three heats and got the ball rolling for Ipswich with a win over home skipper Ben Barker in heat one.
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It was Barker’s only defeat of the night and it was the Witches who nudged into an early lead with Hawkins and Rohan Tungate gating to a 5-1 in heat four. It was a nip and tuck affair, just the way the Witches would have wanted it, with the visitors from Suffolk filling the minor placings in many races.
Berwick threatened to stretch out a lead in the final few heats with a string of 4-2 advantages, but Hawkins and Tungate did well to share the final race and with it give their side an excellent chance of progression into round two.
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1 Lawson, Barker, Stichauer, Branford 66.2 3-3
2 Hawkins, Hall, Nielsen, Greenwood 66.9 5-7
3 Worrall, Barker, Heeps, Branford 66.9 10-8
4 Hawkins, Tungate, Doolan, Hall 66.8 11-13
5 Lawson, Doolan, Worrall, Nielsen 65.9 14-16
6 Barker, Nielsen, Tungate, Sttichauer 66.2 17-19
7 Doolan, Heeps, Branford, Greenwood 66.9 20-22
8 Hawkins, Hall, Stichauer, Heeps 66.8 23-25
9 Worrall, Tungate, Nielsen, Hall 66.6 26-28
10 Barker, Hawkins, Stichauer, Nielsen 67.6 30-30
11 Lawson, Doolan, Hawkins, Greenwood 67.2 32-34
12 Worrall, Nielsen, Hall, Branford 68.2 36-36
13 Barker, Lawson, Doolan, Tungate 66.9 40-38
14 Worrall, Lawson, Hall, Hawkins 68.2 44-40-
15 Barker, Hawkins, Tungate, Worrall 67.8 47-43
Berwick: B Barker 16+1, H Stichauer 3+2, R Worrall 13+1, R/R, K Doolan 9, O Greenwood 0, R Hall 6.
Ipswich: R Lawson 11, R/R, R Branford 1+1, C Heeps 3, R Tungate 6+3, S Nielsen 8+2, R Hawkins 14.