Ipswich Witches secure victory over Berwick Bandits
Ipswich Witches secured a routine victory against the Berwick Bandits at Foxhall Stadium last night.
The race included several re-runs but the Witches held their nerve for a fine win and three points
David Bellego earned a first heat win and a 3-3 for the Bandits, albeit after an aborted start. Bellego edged ahead before the tapes were completely up and was called back.
Take-two saw him get it right and the Berwick rider led from start to finish, despite an aggressive pursuit from Ben Barker and Cameron Heeps. Witches cruised to a second heat 5-1 after the visitors hit problems.
Nicki Barrett limped over the line in third, with Adam Ellis and Ritchie Hawkins leading the way. Ellis did his best to throw away the lead though, almost tumbling off his bike as he approached the final lap.
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Heat two did not go off straight away, following a problem with the tapes and neither did heat three, with Rohan Tungate flying off his bike on bend two, during the first lap, as he raced around the outside to try and support leader, Morten Risager.
Tungate got to his feet after a moment laying motionless, but was ruled out of the re-start.
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Risager did his best to gain the initiative in heat three but, sandwiched in between guest, Ben Morley and winner Matthew Wethers, he eventually had to settle for a gutsy second.
The Bandits levelled it up at 12-12 after four heats with Kozza Smith taking the win ahead of Leigh Lanham, who saw off Paul Starke.
The Witches regained the lead in heat five with a 4-2, Tungate taking the win and a very determined Risager just losing out to Bellego.
Barker grabbed his first victory of the night and a second 4-2 in a row with some fearless riding.
Barker bullied his way round Smith on the outside of bend three, during the first lap, and then led for the duration.
Berwick’s Morley was then disqualified for failing to reach the two-minute mark in heat seven. This allowed Lanham and Richie Hawkins to notch up a 5-1.
Adam Ellis then took the win in heat eight but more focus was on the battle for second with Heeps and Starke putting their bodies on the line, the former eventually squeezing through the tightest of gaps to move into second.
Smith narrowed the gap for the Bandits in heat nine, taking a win with a tactical ride, for six points.
Almost inevitably, Barker won heat 10 but it was Heeps in second who did his utmost to earn Ipswich a maximum, eventually holding off Wethers after being initially forced wide into third place by the Berwick rider.
Ellis came off his bike, crashing into the boards on the first bend in heat 11, but it was Ashworth that was disqualified as being the main cause of the stoppage, much to the fury of the visitors in the pits.
Lanham capitalised on the controversy, leading Ellis over the line for a 5-1 win.
Berwick’s Starke made another good start in heat 12 but soon lost the lead to Tungate who then cruised to a victory.
Barker earned his third victory of the night in heat 13 to give the Witches a 50-31 lead with Lanham in last place, despite a late surge.
Risager took his first win of the night, for a 3-3 in heat 14, before being caught on the penultimate lap by Smith in a frantic game of cat and mouse. Barker finished third