Ipswich Witches stage dramatic late recovery at Glasgow Tigers to grab a precious point
- Credit: Picture: Steve Waller
Glasgow Tigers 49 Ipswich Witches 43
Ipswich Witches team manager Ritchie Hawkins paid tribute to his side after they came away from Glasgow Tigers with a valuable league point tonight.
The Witches grabbed a heat 15 4-2 heat advantage to lose the meeting in Scotland by just six points – meaning they picked up a losing bonus point.
And although Hawkins refuses to get carried away over the result, he knows it was a big boost for the team, especially after their loss at Edinburgh eight days ago.
“Obviously I’m pleased, we are all pleased to get a point,” Hawkins said straight after the meeting.
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“We really stuck at it, filling the minor placings. We couldn’t win a heat for love nor money, but we never gave in.
“Bearing in mind we got off to the worse possible start and were 10-2 down after two races, our heads never dropped.
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“So pleased with the effort.”
The Witches did to Glasgow what the Tigers did to the Witches at Foxhall recently, grabbing a late point after the Witches had dominated.
“It was similar to that meeting to be honest, but we can’t get too carried away about a point tonight here though. We have lots more points up for grabs and when we come back here later in the season things could be a lot more serious.”
The Witches never led, only won three heats – all by skipper Danny King – but never let the Tigers get away from them.
“As I said we hung on in there, Rory Schlein’s eight points were superbly earned and I don’t think I’ve seen a rider do more for one point as Connor Mountain did.”
The home side got off to just the start they would have wanted as they rocketed to two 5-1 maximums in the first two races.
The Witches pairing of Cameron Heeps and Justin Sedgmen stopped the rot in heat three and Schlein and Aaron Summers had a great scrap in the next, but still the Witches had yet to take the chequered flat.
There were two races in one in heat five with Richie Worrall holding off all King’s attentions, while Kyle Newman was battling hard to keep Nike Lunna at bay.
Schlein made a bullet gate in heat six, but Richard Lawson roared past him down the back straight as the Witches entered tactical ride territory already, with Cameron Heeps donning the black and white helmet in heat seven for double points.
Heeps couldn’t catch the flying Summers as the Tigers completed a clean sweep of seven straight heat winners, and an eight-point lead at 26-18.
The Witches couldn’t make any inroads as the home side dominated and the visitors were soon again ten points down after heat nine despite another fine start from Schlein.
It was proving a tough night for the visitors from Suffolk against a side who were unbeaten on their home circuit so far this season – and you could see why.
The home march continued in heat 10 with Lawson winning his third race of the night, but the Witches were still hanging on in there to maybe strike late for a bonus point.
And they helped their cause no end as King and Newman gated to victory in heat 11 – not only a 5-1 maximum to the visitors, but more importantly, the Tigers lead was cut to six.
It was back to eight despite Heeps’ efforts in race 12.
King had really got his mojo back in this meeting and he hit he front in the next as Schlein and Lawson passed and re-passed before the Tigers make got into second place.
But it was the second Witches heat advantage in three races and they were in with a real shout of a least a losing bonus point from this meeting.
Sedgmen went wide on bend two after a great start in the penultimate heat as the Witches were left needing a heat advantage in the final race to secure a bonus point.
King and Schlein hit the front, but Schlein was soon at the back, before he superbly re-passed Worrall and almost caught Lawson on the line.
The Witches had hung on in there and deservedly got a point.
Glasgow: R Lawson 13, R Douglas 6+1, R Worrall 12, N Lunna 4, A Summers 7, T Perry 4+1, T Perry 3.
Ipswich: D King 12, K Newman 5+2, C Heeps 10, J Sedgmen 5+3, R Schlein 8, C Mountain 1, N Greaves 2+2
1 Lawson, Douglas, King, Newman 57.2 5-1
2 Smith, Perry, Mountain, Greaves 59.1 10-2
3 Worrall, Heeps, Sedgmen, Lunna 57.1 13-5
4 Summers, Schlein, Greaves, Smith 57.2 16-8
5 Worrall, King, Newman, Lunna 58.4 19-11
6 Lawson, Schlein, Douglas, Mountain 58.0 23-13
7 Summers, Heeps*, Sedgmen, Perry 58.2 26-18
8 Douglas, Newman, Greaves, Smith 59.3 29-21
9 Worrall, Shlein, Lunna, Mountain 57.8 33-23
10 Lawson, Heeps, Sedgmen, Douglas 58.9 36-26
11 King, Newman, Summers, Perry 57.6 37-31
12 Worrall, Heeps, Perry, Mountain 58.4 41-33
13 King, Lawson, Schlein, Summers 58.3 43-37
14 Lunna, Sedgmen, Perry, Greaves 59.2 47-39
15 King, Lawson, Schlein, Worrall 58.4 49-43
*tac ride points count double
Glasgow 3 pts Ipswich 1 pt.