Ipswich Witches are well beaten by Redcar Bears in the Championship

Rory Schlein (left) and Danny King, a mixed night for the pair of them at Redcar

Rory Schlein (left) and Danny King, a mixed night for the pair of them at Redcar - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Redcar Bears 55 Ipswich Witches 38

Ipswich Witches suffered a heavy defeat at play-off-chasing Redcar Bears tonight in a Championship fixture.

The visitors, minus Cameron Heeps and Justin Sedgmen who are both still on the treatment table for shoulder injuries – as well as Nathan Greaves who was on Premiership duty for Wolves – were no match for a rampant home side who have the play-offs in their sights.

And while this defeat won’t dampen the season for the Suffolk side (they have a chance tomorrow night at Foxhall to get their revenge over Redcar), it was still disappointing.

Rory Schlein was the only Witch to really get among the visitors. He won three heats in the first nine. However, the Suffolk side had nine last places in the first 10!

“We were well beaten by the better side tonight,” Witches team manager Ritchie Hawkins said.

“I can’t fault the effort, but we must make sure it’s a different story on Saturday night.”

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The Witches got off to the worst possible start, conceding a 5-1 in the first heat. Ipswich’s reserves shared heat two before Kyle Newman did well to hold off the attentions of Jonas Andersen in the next.

Rory Schlein became the Witches second heat winner on the bounce, but already the Witches were having too many last places and when Andersen and Ben Barker scored the home side’s second maximum in the first five races, the visitors were up against it.

Barker and Ellis Perks were riding well and they held off all Schlein’s attentions in heat six as the Witches went into tactical ride territory at 12 points down. It was proving a difficult night for Hawkins’ side and guest Kevin Doolan, a former skipper of the Witches, had his third last place of the night, with just seven heats gone.

Schlein was out for a tactical ride in heat eight and duly delivered but he was fighting a one-man battle and he won heat nine before Redcar got their lead back up to 15. Newman was battling hard for the visitors but time was running out as Redcar dominated. The meeting was over in heat 12 as Andersen passed James Sarjeant to clinch the victory for the home side with Doolan completing a disappointing night, picking up his fifth last place of the night.

The return leg of this fixture takes place at Foxhall Stadium on Saturday night where the Witches will hope to cement their play-off place.

Heat details

1 Barker, Perks, King, Doolan (r) 55.0 5-1

2 Busch, Mountain, Sarjeant, Davey 55.1 8-4

3 Newman, Andersen, Perks, Doolan 55.0 11-7

4 Schlein, Wright, Davey, Mountain 54.5 14-10

5 Andersen, Barker, King, Sarjeant 54.1 19-11

6 Barker, Perks, Schlein, Sarjeant 55.3 24-12

7 Busch, Wright, Newman, Doolan 56.0 29-13

8 Schlein*, Perks, Busch, Mountain 55.2 32-19

9 Schlein, Wright, Andersen, Sarjeant 55.3 35-22

10 Barker, Newman, Perks, Doolan 56.3 39-24

11 Wright, Newman, King, Busch 56.3 42-27

12 Andersen, Sarjeant, Davey, Doolan 56.7 46-29

13 King, Barker, Wright, Schlein 56.0 49-32

14 Davey, Newman, Mountain, Andersen (f/x) no time 52-35

15 Barker, Schlein, Newman, Perks 56.4 55-38

*tac ride points count double

Redcar 3 pts. Ipswich 0 pts.

Scorers

Redcar: B Barker 16+1, E Perks 8+3, R/R, J Andersen 9+1, C Wright 10+2, T Busch 10+1, M Davey 5+1

Ipswich: D King 6+1, R/R, K Doolan 0, K Newman 11+1, R Schlein 15, J Sarjeant 3+1, C Mountain 3+1

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