Ipswich Witches lose their first meeting of 2019: Boss Hawkins gives his reaction
PUBLISHED: 21:42 15 April 2019 | UPDATED: 21:45 15 April 2019
© Copyright Stephen Waller
King’s Lynn Stars 52 Ipswich Witches 38
Ipswich Witches lost their first meeting of 2019 at King's Lynn tonight, going down 52-38 at the Norfolk Arena.
Ritchie Hawkins' side had made a good start to the meeting and were ahead after six races.
But a run of three 5-1 maximums in four races to the home side undid the Witches, who also suffered with No.1 Chris Harris still feeling the effects of a heavy crash at Eastbourne on Saturday. Harris only had three rides.
“We were looking good after a third of the meeting, but they seemed to get their set-ups right which you would expect from the home side,” Witches team boss Ritchie Hawkins said.
“Our reserves were excellent, Cam (Heeps) and Jake (Allen), you couldn't separate them.
“I could see Chris Harris was struggling after a couple of crashes recently, so I pulled him out of his last race. Hopefully a few days rest and he'll be good for Thursday.
“It's early days and expectations are high after our win over Lynn at home. We look forward to Belle Vue now on Thursday. We want to get our Premiership season off to a good start.”
It wasn't the best start to the night for the Witches as Harris fell on bend one, lap three when in third.
He was excluded and the Stars awarded a 5-1.
The Witches looked set to hit straight back in the reserves race before Michael Palm-Toft split the Witches pairing on lap two. But the Witches did get their first maximum of the night in the next, Richard Lawson flying through the middle of the Lynn pairing to join his fast starting partner Krystian Pieszczek.
King was passed for third in the next when he lifted on bend two, as the scores levelled at 12-12 and then Harris managed to split the Lynn pairing in heat five as the visitors re-took the lead.
The Witches dealt a hammer blow to the home side in heat six, King and Heeps gating to the front.
Lynn No.1 Robert Lambert split the pairing before Heeps repassed him in a thriller. The Witches were ahead again, but in this topsy-turvey clash the Stars hit straight back with a 5-1 of their own.
Palm-Toft was proving good value for the Stars at reserve and he and Erik Riss made it two 5-1s on the bounce for the Stars as they edged six up.
Lewis Kerr won heat nine for the Stars before Riss and Lambert made it three 5-1 maximums for the home side in the space of four heats.
The meeting had flipped towards the home side who were now 10 up. Jorgensen passed Heeps who was one of the Witches most impressive riders and the Stars went 12 up in heat 12.
Allen replaced Harris as Lynn sealed the deal in heat 13.
Heeps continued his good start to the season, winning heat 14. But the Stars ended the night with another heat advantage.
King's Lynn: R Lambert 10+1, E Riss 7+2, T Jorgensen 14+1, L Kerr 6, T Proctor 4, M Palm-Toft 11, K Andersen 0.
Ipswich: C Harris 3+1, D Bellego 2, D King 7+1, K Preszczek 3, R Lawson 4+1, C Heeps 10+1, J Allen 9.
1 Lambert, Riss, Bellego, Harris (f/x) no time 5-1
2 Allen, Palm-Toft, Heeps, Andersen 59.1 7-5
3 Pieszczek, Lawson, Kerr, Proctor 60.0 8-10
4 Jorgensen, Allen, Palm-Toft, King 58.9 12-12
5 Proctor, Harris, Kerr, Bellego 58.8 16-14
6 King, Heeps, Lambert, Riss 59.0 17-19
7 Palm Toft, Jorgensen, Lawson, Pieszczek (r) 58.7 22-20
8 Palm Toft, Riss, Bellego, Allen 58.8 27-21
9 Kerr, Heeps, King, Proctor 59.0 30-24
10 Riss, Lambert, Lawson, Pieszczek 58.9 35-25
11 Jorgensen, Heeps, Harris, Andersen 59.3 38-28
12 Lambert, King, Kerr, Lawson 59.3 42-30
13 Jorgensen, Allen, Proctor, Heeps 59.0 46-32
14 Heeps, Palm Toft, King, Kerr 60.1 48-36
15 Jorgensen, Allen, Lambert, Pieszczek 60.0 52-38
King's Lynn 3 pts. Ipswich 0 pts.