Ipswich Witches throw away a 12-point lead as Edinburgh Monarchs dent Foxhall home record

Danny King takes the chequered flag to win heat one.

Danny King takes the chequered flag to win heat one. - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Ipswich Witches 46 Edinburgh Monarchs 47

Ipswich Witches threw away a 12-point lead as their unbeaten home record was left in tatters by Edinburgh Monarchs.

The Suffolk side were cruising to a 14th successive home win until a heat 11 tactical 7-2 win for the Monarchs completed spooked the home side.

From that point they only won one of the last four races as the Monarchs took a last heat 4-2 to win by a point.

It was another huge capitulation from the home side who have done this on two or three occasions this season.


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Indeed Foxhall fans left the meeting shell-shocked.

They had watched their side build up a steady and commanding lead before the final heats proved disastrous.

Danny King leading Sam Masters, Theo Pijper and Kyle Newman in the opening heat at Foxhall.

Danny King leading Sam Masters, Theo Pijper and Kyle Newman in the opening heat at Foxhall. - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

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While this result was most unwelcome for the home side, there is no need to panic.

Both Edinburgh and Ipswich, Glasgow and Sheffield are in commanding positions to make the end-of-season play-offs. However, the Witches have now put themselves under a bit extra pressure not to lose at home again this season – and still pick up points on the road.

Witches skipper Danny King made an early statement blasting to victory in heat one, with partner Kyle Newman third. Connor Mountain was on the floor on the first turn of the next, but he got up and completed a race that Nathan Greaves won in style.

Edinburgh won their first race of the night, Ricky Wells nipping out well from the inside, although Cameron Heeps chased all the way and almost got the American.

Erik Riss was another Monarch quick from the start in heat four as Mountain passed Mitchell Davey in a shared third heat.

It was a tight start but the Witches got their noses nicely in front as Justin Sedgmen gated well to push Sam Masters out wide. The Edinburgh No.1 had engine problems as the Witches gained a 5-1.

Nathan Greaves leads Josh Pickering during heat two of the meeting on Thursday between the Witches a

Nathan Greaves leads Josh Pickering during heat two of the meeting on Thursday between the Witches and Edinburgh, which the Witches lost. Photo: STEVE WALLER - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

The home side were six up but Riss made it two out of two for him with a flying start in heat six.

Schlein was best away in the next as Greaves chased Max Clegg all the way.

Newman had been looking good all night and he continued his decent form with a win in heat eight as Mountain held off Theo Pijper and the Witches extended their lead.

There was no stopping Riss and he made it three wins out of three for him, but Edinburgh couldn’t eat into the Witches lead.

King and Newman raced to the Witches second 5-1 win of the night in heat 10 and it looked all over for the visitors.

But it allowed Sam Masters out on a tactical ride in heat 11. He blastd to the front as Edinburgh gained a 7-2 to narrow the Witches lead to seven.

Edinburgh's Ricky Wells leads the way from Cameron Heeps (red helmet), Justin Sedgmen (blue) and Max

Edinburgh's Ricky Wells leads the way from Cameron Heeps (red helmet), Justin Sedgmen (blue) and Max Clegg in heat three. Picture: STEVE WALLER www.stephenwaller.com - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Heeps kept the Witches well ahead with just three heats to go. King was warned at the start of heat 13 before gating to the front a second time. But Masters passed him as Riss passed Schlein.

Sedgmen was away and gone in heat 14 to clinch the meeting for Ipswich. But he got into difficulties coming out of turn two on the second lap and fell.

It gifted Edinburgh a 5-1 and they went into the final race a point down.

The Witches needed a heat win, but with Edinburgh off the favoured inside grids, it was always a tall order and Masters and Riss made certain of the win for the Scottish side, as they celebrated wildly with wheelies after the race.

Ipswich were left to lick their wounds and there will be a lot of soul-searching, not just among the riders, but also the management about how this one got away from them.

And things don’t get easier for the Witches, they race at league leaders Glasgow on Sunday, before entertaining the Tigers at Foxhall next Thursday, in what is now a must-win meeting.

Heat details

1 King, Masters, Newman, Pijper 56.7 4-2

2 Greaves, Pickering, Davey, Mountain (f/rm) 58.8 7-5

3 Wells, Heeps, Sedgmen, Clegg 57.6 10-8

4 Riss, Schlein, Mountain, Davey 57.9 13-11

5 Sedgmen, Heeps, Masters, Pijper 58.0 18-12

6 Riss, Newman, King, Pickering 57.1 21-15

7 Schlein, Wells, Clegg, Greaves 57.8 24-18

8 Newman, Pickering, Mountain, Pijper 58.1 28-20

9 Riss, Heeps, Sedgmen, Davey 57.7 31-23

10 King, Newman, Wells, Clegg 57.2 36-24

11 Masters*, Schlein, Pickering, Greaves 57.4 38-31

12 Heeps, Wells, Pickering, Mountain 57.7 41-34

13 Masters, King, Riss, Schlein 57.1 43-38

14 Clegg, Pickering, Greaves, Sedgmen (e/f) 58.7 44-43

15 Masters, King, Riss, Heeps 57.3 46-47

*tac ride points count double

Ipswich 0 pts. Edinburgh 3 pts.

Ipswich: D King 11+1, K Newman 8+1, C Heeps 9+1, J Sedgmen 5+2, R Schlein 7, N Greaves 4, C Mountain 2+1.

Edinburgh: S Masters 14, T Pijper 1, R Wells 8, M Clegg 4+1, E Riss 11, J Pickering 8+2, M Davey 1+1

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