GALLERY: Ruthless Ipswich Witches put Somerset Rebels to the sword and take a 40-point lead to the Oak Tree Arena next week

Cameron Heeps

Cameron Heeps - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Ipswich Witches 65 Somerset Rebels 25

Ipswich Witches have given themselves a huge chance of progress in the KO Cup after a stunning performance against Somerset Rebels at Foxhall Stadium on Thursday night.

The ‘Sackers’ Witches were simply ruthless from start to finish and take a 40-point lead to the Oak Tree Arena next Friday.

Ironically the Witches were beaten by 40 points at Somerset last month but surely they won’t repeat that. And they certainly won’t if they show the same determination they did here.

Yes, Somerset were poor, but they were made to look poor by a Witches side that is growing in confidence and who produced some brave and exciting racing.

Rohan Tungate was unbeaten in his four rides and Richie Worrall and Gino Manzares only had their maximums denied by Nick Morris in the last race – as he produced Somerset’s only heat winner!

Maximum after maximum came the Witches way – eight in total – and the home fans loved it.

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Strong from the starts and strong in the first and second turns, the Witches attacked the track time and time again, reaping the rewards.

Worrall made a flying start from gate three to lead all the way in the first heat on a glorious sunny evening, with Cameron Heeps giving Morris a race to the line – which the Rebels man won – just!

Ipswich skipper Ritchie Hawkins and Adam Ellis were away well at the start of the next as the Witches hit the Rebels hard, following it up in heat three with another maximum as Manzares and Morten Risager shot from the tapes. Somerset were already all over the place.

Tungate and Paul Starke hit the deck at the start of heat four. In the re-run both Witches were away on a 5-1 before Starke hit the deck again. In the third re-run Tungate was away once more as the Witches extended their lead to 12 at 18-6.

The lead was 14 after the next as Manzares flew from the outside gate in thrilling fashion, the young American now a huge Foxhall favourite. Ipswich kept mounting up the points and Worrall won his second race of the night in heat six.

The Rebels were struggling and Brady Kurtz and Charles Wright made a right hash of turn two in the next as the Witches stretched their lead to 20 points.

The Witches kept piling on the points and Heeps shot from the outside in heat eight as Hawkins battled round the second turn to join him.

It was 36-12 to the Suffolk side and Risager and Manzares increased it by more as the hapless Rebels had no answer to the flying Witches. Brady Kurtz put himself about in heat 10 as he passed Heeps.

But Heeps passed him back and then the Somerset man fell, as the Witches turned the screw even more.

The score was 46-14 at the break and the Witches weren’t finished.

Ellis rode a cracking first lap in heat 11 to join partner Tungate at the front. The Witches were simply flying and although Hawkins fell on lap two of heat 12, Risager stalked and brilliantly passed Brady Kurtz as the Rebels at last shared a heat.

Morris crashed on the first turn in heat 13 as the Rebels misery continued. Worrall and Tungate did the rest as Ipswich’s lead stretched to 40.

Ellis fell on turn one in heat 14 as the Rebels shared another race and Morris won the last heat, but the Rebels race by then was well run.

1 Worrall, Morris, Heeps, Morley 58.0 4-2

2 Hawkins, Ellis, Starke, T Kurtz 59.2 9-3

3 Risager, Manzares, B Kurtz, Wright 58.6 14-4

4 Tungate, Allen, Hawkins, Starke (f/x) 59.5 18-6

5 Manzares, Morris, Risager, Morley 58.3 22-8

6 Worrall, Allen, Heeps, T Kurtz 59.3 26-10

7 Tungate, Ellis, B Kurtz, Wright 59.5 31-11

8 Heeps, Hawkins, Starke, T Kurtz 58.8 36-12

9 Risager, Manzares, Allen, Starke 58.4 41-13

10 Worrall, Heeps, Wright, B Kurtz (f/x) no time 46-14

11 Ellis, Tungate, Morris, Morley 58.9 51-15

12 Risager, B Kurtz, T Kurtz, Hawkins 59.1 54-18

13 Worrall, Tungate, Allen, Morris (f/x) 59.3 59-19

14 Manzares, Wright, Starke, Ellis 59.6 62-22

15 Morris, Worrall, Manzares, B Kurtz 59.6 65-25

Ipswich: R Worrall 14, C Heeps 7+1, M Risager 10, G Manzares 11+3, R Tungate 10+2, A Ellis 7+2, R Hawkins 6+1

Somerset: N Morris 8, B Morley 0, B Kurtz 4, C Wright 3, O Allen 6, T Kurtz 1+1, P Starke 3+1

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