Ipswich Witches crash to defeat at Edinburgh Monarchs in top-of-table clash

Rory Schlein, left and Cameron Heeps - a tough night for the Witches at Edinburgh

Rory Schlein, left and Cameron Heeps - a tough night for the Witches at Edinburgh - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Edinburgh Monarchs 48 Ipswich Witches 40

Ipswich Witches lost out on the chance to put pressure on leaders Edinburgh at Armadale tonight going down by eight points.

On a tricky track, twice the Witches conceded 5-0s, in heats eight and 14 – it proved decisive in a tight tussle.

It was a shame, as the visitors led by six at one stage, but with falls dominating the meeting, this was never an easy task for the Witches to see through.

Sam Masters shot from the outside gate to win a shared heat one, while Mitchell Davey didn’t get any further than the tapes when they went up, suffering engine failure in another drawn heat, race two.

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Engine failures were proving the talking point of the opening salvos and Justin Sedgmen suffered engine problems after leading heat three for a time.

He was passed by Erik Riss and then slowed up to come last.

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It was the home side’s turn to suffer next, with Ricky Wells, not getting off the start line as Rory Schlein and Nathan Greaves shot to the front to put the Witches into the lead.

It had been a strange start to the meeting as Erik Riss, who was impressive at Foxhall two weeks ago, won his second heat in succession.

There was a nasty crash in heat six as Mark Riss hurtled into the fallen Masters, who was chasing Schlein. It was a bad one and Mark Riss was withdrawn from the meeting suffering hand injuries.

There was a 45 minute delay and it left just one Monarch in the re-run as Josh Pickering replaced Mark Riss.

Schlein and Connor Mountain were away, but Pickering passed Mountain, before Wells passed Cameron Heeps, as Sedgmen, a former Edinburgh rider won well as the Witches led by six.

Heat eight was a disaster for the visitors, with Newman falling and being excluded, before Greaves fell in the re-run, leaving the home riders to claim a 5-0 heat advantage.

It was a huge blow for the visitors who had just started to get a grip on the meeting. The Witches lead was down to one.

And it was the Monarchs who took the initiative in heat nine before Masters passed Sedgmen in heat 10.

Wells took his first race win of the night and Sedgmen came to the party in style, lowering Erik Riss’ colours as the Witches re-took the lead. King fell in a tight heat 13 as Edinburgh looked took advantage to hammer home their first 5-1 of the night. Heeps and Greaves both fell in heat 14 as Edinburgh skated to another 5-0 heat victory – and victory overall.


Edinburgh: S Masters 8, M Riss 0, E Riss 11, M Clegg 8, R Wells 11, J Pickering 9+1, M Davey 1

Ipswich: D King 6, K Newman 3+3, J Sedgmen 9+1, C Heeps 4+1, R Schlein 8, C Mountain 3+1, N Greaves 6+1

Heat details

1 Masters, King, Newman, M Riss 55.2 3-3

2 Pickering, Greaves, Mountain, Davey (e/f) 58.0 6-6

3 E Riss, Heeps, Clegg, Sedgmen (e/f) 55.8 10-8

4 Schlein, Greaves, Davey, Wells (e/f) 57.2 11-13

5 E Riss, King, Newman, Clegg 54.8 14-16

6 Schlein, Pickering, Mountain, Masters (f/x) 57.3 16-20

7 Sedgmen, Wells, Heeps, Pickering 57.0 18-24

8 Clegg, Pickering, Greaves (n/f), Newman (f/x) 59.2 23-24

9 E Riss, Greaves, Clegg, Schlein (f) 55.8 27-26

10 Masters, Sedgmen, Heeps, Pickering 57.2 30-29

11 Wells, King, Newman, Davey 56.7 33-32

12 Sedgmen, E Riss, Mountain, Pickering 56.8 35-36

13 Wells, Masters, Schlein, King (f/x) 56.8 40-37

14 Clegg, Pickering, Heeps (f/x), Greaves (f/x) 58.5 45-37

15 Wells, Schlein, King, Masters (e/f) 57.5 48-40

Edinburgh 3 pts. Ipswich 0 pts.

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