‘Every rider was brilliant tonight’... Ipswich Witches boss Hawkins after stunning away victory for Foxhall side
- Credit: Picture: Steve Waller
Peterborough Panthers 38 Ipswich Witches 51
Team boss Ritchie Hawkins hailed it as 'another brilliant night for us', as Ipswich Witches hammered Peterborough Panthers in their own backyard for a second time this season.
The Suffolk side went back to the top of the Premiership after a 38-51 win at the East of England Arena.
It was a terrific performance, sadly marred by a nasty crash involving Panthers' skipper Hans Andersen, who was taken to hospital after being knocked-out after falling while challenging Cameron Heeps in heat 10.
"It was another brilliant night for us," Hawkins said.
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"We've come here and taken eight points out of a possible eight. It was a nasty crash for Hans and we wish him all the best. There was a long break and it could have put us off our stride, but it didn't.
"The track was a bit slick tonight, it was grippy last time we were here. It just doesn't matter for our boys how the track is.
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"This win takes the pressure off our next two away meetings (at Swindon on Thursday and Belle Vue next Monday). We are top which is how we wanted to end the night.
"Every rider was brilliant tonight, they were all involved in winning races and getting heat advantages. Danny Ayres was an excellent guest at reserve, but all the boys were superb. Our confidence is so high."
Belle Vue's defeat to Poole in Manchester means the Witches are back on top of the table after picking up all four points in a meeting at Peterborough they were never behind in.
The Witches got off to a perfect start with Richard Lawson and Chris Harris both passing Panthers' new boy Ty Proctor, who made the start.
It was a 5-1 to the Witches, who shared the next race with Jake Allen passing to get into third.
Heeps, now in the main body of the team after his heroics at reserve, was at it again in heat three, blasting from third to first, with skipper Danny King picking up third as the Witches led by six at 6-12
Rohan Tungate won the next in a shared heat four after Allen made the gate but the Panthers man got past, while Scott Nicholls won a shared heat five.
Krystian Pieszczek held off all the attentions of home No.1 Andersen in yet another shared race as the Witches held onto their six-point lead.
It was the fourth shared race on the bounce in heat seven with Tungate again looking impressive.
The home side got themselves back into the meeting with Proctor winning as the Panthers netted a 4-2 to cut the deficit to four.
Pieszczek and guest for the injured Edward Kennett, Ayres, gated to the front in heat nine before Charles Wright split them.
Heat 10 saw two bad crashes. Firstly, Witches skipper King hit the deck when dicing with Andersen. It looked nasty but King was thankfully up, but excluded before Andersen and Heeps' crash.
Heeps managed to walk back to the pits, but Andersen, who was excluded, received treatment on track after being initially knocked-out. Andersen was taken to hospital. Heeps won a two-man match-race against Proctor before Harris lowered Tungate's colours as the Witches went nine up and King saw off tactical rider Tungate before a shared heat 13 saw Ipswich home.
There was still time for Heeps and Allen to hammer home another 5-1, in heat 14, as the Witches took all four points home to Suffolk, to the delight of their fans.
Peterborough: H Andersen 2, T Proctor 8+1, S Nicholls 3, C Wright 5, R Tungate 16, A Summers 4, P Starke 0
Ipswich: C Harris 11+1, R Lawson 7+1, D King 5+1, C Heeps 10+1, K Pieszczek 8+2, D Ayres 4, J Allen 6+1
1 Lawson, Harris, Proctor, Andersen 59.9 1-5
2 Summers, Ayres, Allen, Starke 59.5 4-8
3 Heeps, Wright, King, Nicholls 59.2 6-12
4 Tungate, Allen, Pieszczek, Starke 59.3 9-15
5 Nicholls, Lawson, Harris, Wright 60.1 12-18
6 Pieszczek, Andersen, Proctor, Ayres 59.9 15-21
7 Tungate, Heeps, King, Starke 59.5 18-24
8 Proctor, Lawson, Summers, Allen 60.2 22-26
9 Pieszczek, Wright, Ayres, Nicholls 60.3 24-30
10 Heeps, Proctor, Andersen (f/ex), King (f/ex) 60.9 26-33
11 Harris, Tungate, Lawson, Summers 60.6 28-37
12 King, Tungate*, Ayres, Nicholls 60.9 30-41
13 Tungate, Harris, Pieszczek, Starke 60.6 33-44
14 Allen, Heeps, Wright, Summers 61.3 34-49
15 Tungate, Harris, Proctor, Heeps 60.8 38-51
Peterborough 0 pts. Ipswich 4 pts.
Ipswich 10 26
Poole 11 24
Belle Vue 14 24
Peterborough 12 17
King's Lynn 11 13
Swindon 9 11
Wolves 9 10