Danny King crashes out and Ipswich Witches blow an eight-point lead at Newcastle
- Credit: Picture: Steve Waller
Newcastle Diamonds 46 Ipswich Witches 44
Ipswich Witches once again threw away a healthy lead on an away track, going down 46-44 at Newcastle tonight
The Suffolk side were cruising, with Rory Schlein and Kyle Newman in good form, as well as the two reserves, Nathan Greaves and Connor Mountain.
However, with the Witches six up, skipper Danny King crashed while leading heat 11 – putting himself out of the rest of the meeting.
At that point everything changed, leaving the Witches battling to stay ahead, something they failed to do in another last-heat decider.
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“We put in a good performance here tonight and Danny’s crash when he hit a hole has cost us,” Witches boss Ritchie Hawkins said.
“This wasn’t a case of us throwing it away, like we did at Edinburgh. There are lots of positives and we have picked up four points this weekend. Our reserves have been excellent, I don’t think Connor Mountain has had a last place all weekend, and Kyle Newman is getting better and better.
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“I switched the riding order around this weekend and Rory and Cameron Heeps were a good pairing.
“Our home pairings won’t change, this was something I wanted to try for this weekend.”
Newcastle took an early lead after Robert Lambert passed Newman. Alfie Bowtell’s mistake in the next let Nathan Greaves through and a good gate by Connor Mountain saw him and Justin Sedgmen keep the scores even after four races.
Newman and Ludvig Lindgren passed and re passed each other in race five, with the Ipswich man getting second place, with King along way ahead at the front.
The visitors doubled their lead in heat seven, with Schlein and Cameron Heeps gating to an easy victory over Worrall.
Ipswich, not for the first time on their travels, were in control and when Mountain passed Bowtell in heat eight, the visitors were eight up.
However, the home side halved the lead as Lewis Rose and Ludvig Lindgren went either side of the fast-starting Sedgmen in heat nine, before Schlein made it three wins on the bounce and Heeps forced his way passed Ashley Morris, as Ipswich went into the interval six up. King fell when leading heat 11, it gifted the Diamonds a way back into the meeting and Rose lowered Schlein’s colours for the first time on the night and the Diamonds drew level, with King nursing a shoulder injury and replaced by Mountain in heat 13.
Again the Witches had blown a big lead and with just two races to go they were up against it, with King out of the meeting. Heeps was the next Witch to crash out, falling on lap two with the Witches on a shared heat.
The visitors were now two down.
Lambert sealed the deal for the home side in a blanket finish in the final race and the Diamonds’ fans knew their side had been let off the hook.]
The Witches have certainly been sketchy on their travels this season, but at home they have been dominant. They will need to keep that up if they are to remain in the top four. And on Wednesday night (not Thursday) at Foxhall, Sheffield Tigers, fresh from a fine win at Workington on Saturday, are the visitors.
Newcastle: R Lambert 13+1, A Morris 4, L Rose 7+1, L Lindgren 8+1, S Worrall 10+1, B Hopwood 4, A Bowtell 0.
Ipswich: D King 3, K Newman 10+1, R Schlein 12+1, C Heeps 3+1, J Sedgmen 4+1, N Greaves 7+2, C Mountain 5+1
1 Lambert, Newman, Morris, King 62.8 4-2
2 Greaves, Hopwood, Mountain, Bowtell 66.3 6-6
3 Schlein, Lindgren, Rose, Heeps 63.1 9-9
4 Worrall, Mountain, Sedgmen, Bowtell 64.7 12-12
5 King, Newman, Lindgren, Rose (15m) 63.7 13-17
6 Lambert, Sedgmen, Greaves, Morris 63.2 16-20
7 Schlein, Heeps, Worrall, Hopwood 63.7 17-25
8 Morris, Newman, Mountain, Bowtell 64.3 20-28
9 Rose, Lingren, Sedgmen, Greaves 63.6 25-29
10 Schlein, Lambert, Heeps, Morris 62.9 27-33
11 Worrall, Newman, Hopwood, King (f/x) 63.5 31-35
12 Rose, Schlein, Greaves, Bowtell 63.9 34-38
13 Worrall, Lambert, Mountain, Sedgmen 63.0 39-39
14 Lindgren, Greaves, Hopwood, Heeps (f/x) 65.1 43-41
15 Lambert, Newman, Schlein, Worrall 65.0 46-44
Newcastle 3 pts. Ipswich 1 pt.