Dramatic draw for Witches in Redcar
Premier League Redcar Bears 45 Ipswich Witches 45
IPSWICH Witches produced a superb performance in Cleveland to snatch a dramatic draw and two valuable Premier League points.
Despite racing without Chris Schramm, who was awaiting the birth of his first child back home, the ‘Sackers’ Witches battled throughout and grabbed a draw thanks to Kevin Doolan and Morten Risager’s efforts in the final race.
The meeting was nip and tuck throughout and just for a moment in that last race, it looked like the Witches would take all three points, as Doolan found a way past home star Matej Kus.
But Kus, who roared to a brilliant maximum, found another gear to re-pass Doolan, with the heat, and the match, drawn.
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Coupled with a blown engine for Risager when he was well ahead in heat 10 and the Witches could consider themselves unfortunate not to take more from the meeting.
‘Sackers’ Witches made a decent start, captain Doolan passing Peter Juul on the first lap of heat one, to join fast-starting partner Taylor Poole at the front.
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Jamie Courtney had come in as a replacement for Adam Roynon, who broke his femur at Ipswich on Thursday night, and he flew from the start in the reserves race to win well.
Lasse Bjerre went through the tapes in the next but, from 15m back, could make little impression and Risager passed Robert Branford in heat four, as the Witches led 14-10.
But Redcar were sharp from the starts and Kus, who had such a fine meeting at Ipswich, beat Poole, with Gary Havelock doing all he could to hold off Doolan at the back.
The home side seemed destined to take the lead themselves as Jason Lyons and Juul hit the front in heat six.
But Bjerre passed Juul on lap three, although the scores were now level.
However the Witches went straight back into the lead when the impessive Risager flew from the start in heat seven and both Poole and Chris Mills passed Branford on the first lap of heat eight.
It was nip and tuck, with every point vital and Ipswich were gifted the chance of a point when Havelock made a mess on lap three in heat nine. Only for Jerran Hart to be unable to take advantage as the scores levelled up once more at 27-all.
Luck deserted the Witches in heat 10 when Risager blew an engine, while well ahead.
The expected 4-2 to the Witches, was turned on its head and suddenly it was the Bears who were leading for the first time in the meeting.
However it didn’t last for long as Doolan and Poole produced some superb team riding to net the Witches a 5-1 maximum in the next, and although Kus completed four straight wins in heat 12, the Witches filled the minor placings.
Ipswich were leading 37-35 going into the final three heats, but once again this incredibly close encounter was levelled up once more, with Aaron Summers holding off Doolan, who in turn was doing well to hold off Lyons.
Branford then surprised everyone in the Redcar crowd with a fine win in heat 14, but with his partner Havelock at the back, the teams went into the last heat all square.
Redcar: J Lyons 5, P Juul 8, M Kus 15 , G Havelock 3, A Summers 6 , J Courtney 3, R Branford 5.
Ipswich: K Doolan 10+1 , T Poole 10, L Bjerre 7, M Risager 11+1 , R/R, J Hart 1+1, C Mills 6+3 Redcar 1pt, Ipswich 2pts.
Referee Darren Hartley
1 Poole, Doolan, Juul, Lyons 54.4 1-5
2 Courtney, Mills, Hart, Branford 55.6 4-8
3 Kus, Risager, Havelock, Bjerre (15m) 53.8 8-10
4 Risager, Branford, Mills, Summers 55.8 10-14
5 Kus, Poole, Havelock, Doolan 54.0 14-16
6 Lyons, Bjerre, Juul, Hart 54.8 18-18
7 Risager, Summers, Bjerre, Courtney 54.6 20-22
8 Juul, Poole, Mills, Branford 55.7 23-25
9 Kus, Doolan, Havelock, Hart 54.9 27-27
10 Larsen, Bjerre, Lyons, Risager (e/f) 55.6 31-29
11 Poole, Doolan, Summers, Courtney 55.1 32-34
12 Kus, Bjerre, Mills, Branford 53.1 35-37
13 Summers, Doolan, Lyons, Poole 55.1 39-39
14 Branford, Risager, Mills, Havelock 55.4 42-42
15 Kus, Doolan, Risager, Summers 55.0 45-45