Witches have it all to do as they crash to defeat at Lakeside

Rory Schlein. Photo: STEVE WALLER

Rory Schlein. Photo: STEVE WALLER - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Championship Shield Lakeside Hammers 54 Ipswich Witches 35

Ipswich Witches’ hopes of qualification in the Championship Shield this season now depend on two big victories

This, after the Suffolk side failed to pick up a point at Lakeside tonight, meaning they are still pointless from their opening two Shield meetings.

With a home clash to come against Lakeside and an away meeting at Peterborough, the Witches will need to win both – and well.

That’s not out of the question for an Ipswich team that doesn’t lack quality, but they will need to bring their A’ game’ to both final meetings in this group if they are to progress.

At Lakeside, King got the visitors off to a flying start in heat one, winning from the outside gate, while new-boy Michael Haertel briefly held third place, but Nick Morris went past.

Mountain led from the tapes all the way in the next as the Witches made a positive start.

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Adam Ellis, who rode for the Witches back in 2014, raced a stormer of a race to win heat three. In third place from the gate, he passed team-mate Kyle Newman and then got Rory Schlein on the line as the scores tied at 9-9.

However, the Witches’ good start was fading after Lakeside reserve Alfie Bowtell kept Nico Covatti behind him in heat four as the Hammers took the lead for the first time. Danyon Hume fell off, but remounted.

Ellis and Newman repeated the 5-1 dose in the next and suddenly the Witches were eight down, having been two ahead three heats earlier

Covatti fell when in third place in heat six as the Hammers continued to pull ahead.

The Witches were set for a heat advantage as Schlein won heat seven, but Cameron Heeps was passed on lap three by Hammers’ reserve Zach Wajknecht. Both Haertel and Ben Morley of Lakeside crashed on the first bend of heat eight, with the referee unusually excluding them both! It left a match race between Mountain and Bowtell, that the Ipswich man won.

Covatti sprung into life in heat nine with an impressive gate and go win over Ellis and Newman, but the Witches remained nine behind. That stretched to 11 despite Schlein passing Morley on the final lap in the next.

Lakeside continued to stretch their lead and King took a tactical ride in heat 12, linking up with Schlein.

But Ellis was up to the task and his win sealed the victory on the night for the Hammers.

Heat details

1 King, Morley, Morris, Haertel 59.3 3-3

2 Mountain, Wajtknecht, Hume, Bowtell 60.1 5-7

3 Ellis, Schlein, Newman, Heeps 60,1 9-9

4 Lawson, Bowtell, Covatti, Hume 61.4 14-10

5 Ellis, Newman, King, Haertel 59.8 19-11

6 Morris, Mountain, Morley, Covatti (f) 60.3 23-13

7 Schlein, Lawson, Wajtknecht, Heeps 60.0 26-16

8 Mountain, Bowtell, Morley (f/x), Haertel (f/x) 60.1 28-19

9 Covatti, Ellis, Newman, Hume 61.0 31-22

10 Morris, Schlein, Morley, Heeps 60.5 35-24

11 Lawson, King, Wajtknecht, Mountain 60.9 39-26

12 Ellis, King*, Schlein, Bowtell 60.1 42-29

13 Lawson, King, Morris, Covatti 60.7 46-31

14 Wajtknecht, Mountain, Newman, Hume 61.5 50-33

15 Lawson, King, Ellis, Schlein 60.3 54-35

*tactical ride

Lakeside 3 pts. Ipswich 0 pts.


Lakeside: N Morris 8+1, B Morley 4, A Ellis 12, K Newman 5+1, R Lawson 14, Z Wajtknecht 7+1, A Bowtell 4+1

Ipswich: D King 12, M Haertel 0, R Schlein 8+1, C Heeps 0, N Covatti 4, C Mountain 10, D Hume 1.


Lakeside 3 7

Peterborough 3 6

Ipswich 2 0

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