DANNY KING COLUMN: My Ipswich Witches crash cost us points (I do know!)
- Credit: Picture: Steve Waller
Well, it could have been more. It should have been more.
Points on our northern tour that is.
Four out of eight isn’t bad I suppose, but when you consider some of the positions we were in during both meetings... We could have done so much better.
I’ll hold my hands up and admit I didn’t help proceedings at Newcastle.
There we were cruising along, six points ahead and there was I cruising to a second victory on the bounce in heat 11, when WOOOOH! I’m on my back wheel and heading towards the Newcastle fence.
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It was a mistake, I’ll admit that, the track caught me out.
They had just graded it at the interval and covered over any small holes there were, which there were a few.
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I hit one and next minute I know I’ve landed on my shoulder again.
It’s cost us the win, I know that, although we did still have enough in the tank to get the job done. We just didn’t do it and Cameron Heeps was another who fell off, in heat 14.
We left Newcastle disappointed with only a point and I left Newcastle nursing a very sore shoulder and plenty of hurt pride.
Before all that, we enjoyed a routine win over Scunthorpe last Thursday, and then headed to Berwick in good shape on Saturday.
Eleven points up after after five races, we were flying and looking set for a big victory.
Then came the dreaded tactical ride ruling, with Ryan Douglas on double points for Berwick and they make the most of it, thumping home an 8-1 heat win and narrowing the gap.
Like most people, I’m not keen on the tactical ride rule, although I suppose it did what it is set out to do and make the scores closer and ultimately a last-heat decider.
At the interval, we were in good shape but after that we went to pieces - and the Bandits took full advantage.
If I knew what had gone wrong, I would honestly tell you.
But we went from 35-27 up to 42-44 down in the space of four heats! And suddenly we were involved in a last-heat decider we should never have been involved in.
It was me and Rory Schlein in the final heat 15 and we both wanted gate four.
It was only right that Rory should have it, he was in better form and had only dropped one point.
We needed, at the very least, a heat advantage.
I went off gate two and made the gate across Ryan Douglas (just!), joining up with Rory down the back straight as we got the 5-1 we needed to seal victory.
There certainly weren’t wild celebrations in our side of the pits though.
We had nearly thrown it away - and even though we had won, we hadn’t picked up the full four points as we should have.
Rory was excellent again - and at Newcastle.
He’s been such a good addition to the Witches side and I always knew he would be a good signing.
And what about our young reserves Connor Mountain and Nathan Greaves?
They only had one last place between them all weekend. That is truly fantastic.
I’m pleased for both of them, especially Connor, because I was getting worried about him. I’m sure he was worried himself.
But he has battled through his lull and you should have seen the outside move he pulled on, I think it was Jye Etheridge, at Berwick, switching to the outside to pass – real class from Connor.
So, we returned to our hotel on Saturday night with a victory in the bag, but with little gloating, as we knew we had almost mucked up.
I slept well at the hotel after going to bed as soon as we got there, taking the chance to get some kip without the kids around!
The next morning my good friend Ludvig Lindgren let me clean my bikes in his workshop (thanks Ludvig), before the trip to Newcastle.
So, there you have it, an up and down weekend to say the least.
On Monday, I went and had my shoulder x-rayed, fortunately there is nothing broken.
I’ve had plenty of physio and feel ok. Looks like golf is on the back burner again for another month though.
It’s a big meeting tomorrow against Sheffield. We must keep our excellent home form going.
A Wednesday night at Foxhall, now there’s a rarity.
See you there.
AS TOLD TO MIKE BACON