Hawkins heaps praise on Witches after they secure last-heat thrilling win at Scunthorpe to go second in the table
- Credit: Picture: Steve Waller
Scunthorpe Scorpions 44 Ipswich Witches 46
Ipswich Witches team boss Ritchie Hawkins paid tribute to his side after a the Witches scored a thrilling 46-44 victory at Scunthorpe this afternoon.
The Suffolk side, led by skipper Danny King, who recorded a brilliant 15-point maximum, nailed a final heat 4-2 victory to take all three points to move them into second place in the Championship standings.
That’s four straight victories for the Witches now – including back-to-back away wins – and although there is no meeting at Foxhall this Thursday, they will travel to Workington next Saturday in good mood.
“I’m really pleased with that,” Hawkins said.
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“There was never more than a few points in it, so to come through as we did in the final heat was a great feeling.
“Danny King and Rory Schlein showed their class in heats 13 and 15 to see us home but everyone scored points and beat riders. We fought for every point right to the end and that was pleasing.”
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The Witches don’t have a great record at Scunthorpe and former Witch Lewis Kerr was in great form for the home side, who fell behind early on to the Witches, but re-took the lead midway through the meeting, before King and Schlein’s heat 13 and 15 heroics.
“We knew it would be a tough meeting because Scunthorpe is always a difficult place to come to and get points,” Hawkins said.
“You always have the potential to drop points here, but we haven’t today and I’m delighted.”
King was in great form for the visitors and he won the first of his five race wins in heat one as the Witches took a heat one lead. Nathan Greaves looked to be on the way to victory in heat two, but Josh Bailey got through after Greaves made a slight error and Kerr impressed with a fine ride in heat three as the home side levelled up the scores.
Schlein passed Josh Auty in heat four as the Witches re-took the lead and King won heat five.
Auty, always a fine racer on his home circuit and reserve Tero Aarni scored the home side’s first 5-1 of the afternoon as Heeps won heat eight.
It was nip and tuck and King excelled with a thrilling heat 11 victory, before the Witches skipper, and Schlein, put the Witches back in front with a 5-1 maximum in heat 13.
The Scorpions levelled it up in the next, before King raced from the start in the nail-biting decider, as Schlein passed Kerr to seal the deal for the delighted Foxhall side and their fans.
Scunthorpe: K Howarth 8, C Wilkinson 3+1, L Kerr 11, R Douglas 5+1, J Auty 6+1, T Aarnio 8+1, J Bailey 3.
Ipswich: D King 15, C Heeps 4, J Sedgmen 4, K Newman 6+1, R Schlein 11+1, C Mounain 1+1, N Greaves 5+1
1 King, Aarnio, Heeps, Howarth 60.1 2-4
2 Bailey, Greaves, Mountain, Aarnio 59.5 5-7
3 Kerr, Newman, Douglas, Sedgmen 57.8 9-9
4 Schlein, Auty, Greaves, Bailey 57.7 11-13
5 King, Kerr, Douglas, Heeps 56.6 14-16
6 Schlein, Howarth, Wilkinson, Mountain 58.0 17-19
7 Auty, Aarnio, Newman, Sedgmen 59.0 22-20
8 Heeps, Wilkinson, Greaves, Bailey (15m) 58.3 24-24
9 Kerr, Schlein, Aarnio, Mountain (f/x) 58.3 28-26
10 Howarth, Sedgmen, Newman, Wilkinson 58.1 31-29
11 King, Aarnio, Auty, Heeps 58.1 34-32
12 Kerr, Sedgmen, Greaves, Aarnio (e/f) 58.6 36-35
13 King, Schlein, Howarth, Auty 57.4 38-40
14 Douglas, Newman, Aarnio, Greaves 58.5 42-42
15 King, Howarth, Schlein, Kerr 57.3 44-46
Scunthorpe 0pts. Ipswich 3pts.