Covatti suffers arm injury as Witches are beaten at Redcar. ‘The injury doesn’t look great’ admits Ipswich boss Ritchie Hawkins

Nico Covatti, recovering well from his serious wrist injury

Nico Covatti, recovering well from his serious wrist injury - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Redcar Bears 54 Ipswich Witches 35

Ipswich Witches have suffered an injury blow after Nico Covatti crashed heavily at Redcar tonight.

Covatti crashed out in heat 12 and flew into the fence as the Witches chased down a six-point deficit with just four heats to go.

The Argentinian was in agony with an arm and wrist injury. He was taken to hospital for check-ups.

“It doesn’t look great,” Witches boss Ritchie Hawkins said.

“Early signs are it could be serious, but we will know more later. He was in agony and it wasn’t nice for any of us to see him in that way.

“We were in the meeting up to that point but it knocks the stuffing out of you and we fell away. The result probably doesn’t really reflect the meeting.”

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Ipswich lost by 19 points and failed to pick up any points at all – the second time in three away meetings so far this season they have failed to do so.

Cameron Heeps, so good at Peterborough on Monday, was under the weather throughout, which didn’t help the Witches cause.

“Cameron has been sick on the way up and in the pits,” Hawkins said.

“But he has ridden his socks off for me.

“We are obviously disappointed and hope Nico’s injury isn’t as bad as we fear. But we go again on Saturday night and at Newcastle on Sunday.”

The Witches got off to the most perfect of starts as Sarjeant shot to the front in heat one, with Danny King in behind. That was the way it stayed as the Witches took an early lead.

But the home side struck back immediately after Hume fell and was excluded. Connor Mountain had second place for a time in the re-run before Richard Hall passed him. And the home side took an immediate lead, streaking from the tapes as the third 5-1 in three heats went the home team’s way.

Rory Schlein and Hume gated well in heat four, but Ellis Perks moved Humes over as Ben Barker nipped through for a drawn heat. Sarjeant fell when at the back in the next as the Bears continued to grow in confidence. Jason Garrity won the next as the Witches tried to keep in touch with the home side.

Covatti helped with that, winning heat seven as Heeps took advantage of a slip by Richard Hall. The next two heats were shared, Schlein again impressing with his second heat win of the night.

But the Witches needed heat advantages to get close to the home side. Heeps was replaced by Hume in heat 10 but it was Covatti who won, as the Witches went in at the interval six behind. Barker rode a blinder to keep King behind him in heat 11 as still the Witches couldn’t eat into Redcar’s lead.

Covatti crashed into the fence in heat 12 and was taken away in the ambulance and when the action got underway after a break, Redcar sealed the points with Garrity and Barker gating to a maximum in heat 13.

The Witches have a chance for immediate revenge on the Bears, who are the visitors to Foxhall Stadium on Saturday night.


Redcar: J Garrity 12, F Garcia 5+1, C Wright 9+2, J Andersen 9, B Barker 10+3, R Hall 4+2, E Perks 5

Ipswich: D King 6+1, J Sarjeant 5+2, N Covatti 9, C Heeps 1, R Schlein 10, C Mountain 1, D Hume 3

Heat details

1 Sarjeant, King, Garrity, Garcia 54.8 1-5

2 Perks, Hall, Mountain, Hume (f/x)) 54.5 6-6

3 Andersen,Wright,Covatti,Heeps 54.7 11-7

4 Schlein,Perks,Barker,Hume 54.1 14-10

5 Wright, King, Andersen,Sarjeant(f/x) no time 18-12

6 Garrity, Schlein, Garcia, Mountain 54.1 22-14

7 Covatti, Barker, Heeps, Hall 54.3 24-18

8 Garcia, Hume, Sarjeant, Perks 54.6 27-21

9 Schlein, Andersen, Wright, Mountain 53.9 30-24

10 Covatti, Garrity, Garcia, Hume 54.8 33-27

11 Barker, King, Sarjeant, Hall 54.5 36-30

12 Wright, Covatti, Hume (f/x), Perks (Ex) no time 39-32

13 Garrity, Barker, Schlein, King 54.8 44-33

14 Andersen, Hall, Hume, Heeps (f/x) no time 49-34

15 Garrity, Barker, Schlein, King 54.6 54-35

Redcar 3 pts. Ipswich 0 pts.

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