Hilton heaps praise on King as Gino suffers no broken bones
- Credit: Picture: Steve Waller
Ipswich Witches team manager Phil Hilton is hoping the momentum is with his side as they head to Somerset tonight in an important League Cup clash.
The Foxhall Heath team thrashed Plymouth 57-33 at Foxhall Stadium on Thursday night and travel to Somerset in buoyant mood this evening, even though they will be without American Gino Manzares, who injured his back and shoulder in a heat three crash against the Devils.
“Gino is battered and bruised but thankfully nothing is broken,” said Witches director of speedway Chris Louis.
“He is in a lot of pain though.”
The Suffolk side still made light of the Devils, with reserve Nico Covatti and Danny King both racing through the card unbeaten as the Witches made light of the missing Manzares.
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“It was another convincing win on the face of it, but we did seem to take a while to really get going,” said Hilton.
“The injury to Gino didn’t help and then ironically the injury to Kyle Newman for them, seemed to get us going.
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“What can I say about Danny King? I’m already starting to run out of superlatives to describe his excellent performances! The two reserves deserve a mention as well, they covered really well for Gino as well as scoring highly in their own programmed rides.
“Now we need to carry this form to Somerset and bring some points back to keep us moving up the League Cup table.”
Rider replacement will be used by the Witches to cover for Manzares’ rides tonight, with Rohan Tungate, Cameron Heeps, Ritchie Hawkins and the reserves able to take Manzares’ rides.
Last night at Foxhall the Witches were far too good for a Plymouth side who were cruelly hit by the loss of Newman after a heavy heat four fall when under pressure from Covatti’s last-bend dive.
Without their skipper the Devils continued to battle but were always up against it, especially with Covatti and Witches other reserve, Stefan Nielsen, both in fine form.
The Suffolk side had the meeting won by heat 12 after tactical rider Jack Holder got out of shape chasing Covatti and Nielsen in a race that saw Covatti complete a 15-point paid maximum.
He wasn’t alone in the maximum stakes as King, a class above everyone on the night, completed his 15-point maximum – his 12th straight win at Foxhall.
For Witches skipper Ritchie Hawkins it was another frustrating night, with a blown motor on parade hampering his scoring on the night, even though he will have been glad to get in some much-need laps.
“I need a break,” he said.
“I’m just having no luck at the moment and blowing the motor was just typical of the season for me so far.”
At Somerset tonight, the Rebels will be missing reserve Paul Starke, who crashed at Birmingham on Wednesday. Sheffield’s Josh Bates replaces him.
Starke, an ever-present in last year’s Somerset side, was the innocent victim of a coming-together in heat 12 of Wednesday night’s Poole v Coventry Elite League meeting and although a visit to his local hospital showed that there were no broken bones, his ankle is too swollen and sore for him to ride.
“It is too early to say how much longer, if at all, Paul will be side-lined,” said Rebels promoter Debbie Hancock, “we’ll have a clearer picture of that after the weekend once the swelling has hopefully subsided.
Heat details at Foxhall on Thursday
1 King, Fisher, Simota, Hawkins 57.0 3-3
2 Nielsen, Covatti, Morris, Halsey 58.8 8-4
3 Holder, Risager, Heeps, Manzares (f/x) 58.5 9-9
4 Tungate, Covatti, Halsey, Newman (f) 58.8 14-10
5 Fisher, Nielsen, Simota, Heeps 59.0 16-14
6 King, Morris, Hawkins, Halsey 59.0 20-16
7 Tungate, Risager, Holder, Nielsen (f/rm) 58.6 23-19
8 Covatti, Morris, Hawkins, Simota 59.0 27-21
9 Heeps, Covatti, Morris, Halsey 59.4 32-22
10 King, Risager, Hawkins, Holder 58.1 36-24
11 Tungate, Fisher, Nielsen, Simota 58.9 40-26
12 Covatti, Nielsen, Morris, Holder* no time 45-27
13 King, Fisher, Tungate, Halsey (ex) 58.7 49-29
14 Risager, Nielsen, Heeps, Halsey (ex) 59.5 52-32
15 King, Tungate, Fisher, Risager 58.5 57-33
* tac ride points count double.
Ipswich 3 pts Plymouth 0 pts
Ipswich: D King 15, R Hawkins 3, G Manzares 0, C Heeps 5+1, R Tungate 12+1, S Nielsen 10+1, N Covatti 12+3
Plymouth: R Fisher 10, S Simota 2+1, J Holder 4+1, M Risager 9+1, K Newman 0, A Morris 8, D Halsey 0.
League Cup Group South
Rye House 6 13
Peterborough 7 13
Ipswich 5 10
Somerset 6 10
Plymouth 6 4
Teams for Somerset on Friday
‘Cases’ Somerset Rebels
1. Josh Grajczonek © 8.11, 2. Leigh Lanham 4.90, 3. Richie Worrall 7.32, 4. Charles Wright 6.64, 5. Brady Kurtz 7.54, 6. Josh Bates 4.67, 7. Benji Compton 3.18
Ipswich ‘Sackers’ Witches
1. Danny King 8.84, 2. Ritchie Hawkins © 5.27, 3. R/R 6.02, 4. Cameron Heeps 5.38, 5. Rohan Tungate 8.36, 6. Stefan Nielsen 4.23, 7. Nico Covatti 4.19
Team Manager: Phil Hilton