Ipswich Witches 45 Belle Vue Aces 45: Captain King grabs Witches dramatic last-heat draw
- Credit: Steve Waller -www.stephenwaller.com
Ipswich Witches and Belle Vue Aces shared the spoils at Foxhall Stadium, as speedway returned to the Heath.
A last heat decider saw the Witches look as though they may just nick it as Danny King and Jake Allen made the start.
But the Aces were determined and both got past Allen as the meeting ended 45-45.
It was perhaps a fitting result. Ipswich had taken an early lead, but the Aces hit back well and looked favourites going into the last two races. However, King's excellent heat 15 effort helped the Witches salvage a point.
Allen had an fine meeting on his return to the side and Anders Rowe was again to the fore with an impressive total.
It was perhaps bittersweet for both sides that the meeting ended in a the way it did, with both teams feeling they could have won it.
There was a big crowd in attendance at Foxhall for the first Witches home clash since October 2019.
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Both sides were buoyed by opening night wins on Monday evening, the Witches at King's Lynn, Belle Vue at home to Sheffield.
The Witches got off to a superb start in heat one with Rowe and Jason Crump flying from the start.
Crump tucked in behind his young partner as the home fans in the big crowd rose to applaud them home.
Rowe made it back-to-back wins in heat two, again jetting from the start as Drew Kemp made ground on Tom Brennan on the final lap but couldn't get past.
King made the most of Jye Etheridge's mistake to nip through to win heat four, as Charles Wright passed Drew Kemp.
Crump won the next as Rowe went up the inside of Brennan, and King produced a captain's ride as he held his nerve down the backstraight to beat Dan Bewley.
The Witches were leading by six and although Belle Vue manager Mark Lemon put in tactical substitute Brady Kurtz, the Witches shared the heat again - Allen passing Wright on lap one.
However, Belle Vue did hit back in the next to reduce the Witches lead to two, as the meeting hotted up.
Belle Vue were now really on it. And they hit another 5-1 in heat 11 to take the lead for the first time on the night - and at a good time.
Bewley did well to pass Heeps, before the Witches got a stroke of luck as Wright packed up while on a 5-1 with Kurtz in heat 13.
It was boiling up now as Etheridge took a nasty tumble on the second bend of heat 14. He was up ok as Allen continued his fine night as he flew passed Steve Worrall to bring the scores level.
It was a last heat decider and the Witches looked to be on their way to victory as King and Allen both made good starts. But first Kurtz and then Bewley passed Allen as it ended all square.
Allen will feel sore after being in a match-winning position, but his input during the meeting had kept the Witches in it.
Ipswich: J Crump 7+1, R/R, C Heeps 5+1, J Allen 11+1, D King 11+1, A Rowe 11+2, D Kemp 0.
Belle Vue: B Kurtz 13+1, R Worrall 7, D Bewley 10+2, S Worrall 7+2, C Wright 3+1, T Brennan 1+1, J Etheridge 4.
1. Rowe, Crump, R Worrall, Kurtz 56.9 5-1
2. Rowe, Etheridge, Brennan, Kemp 58.3 8-4
3. Allen, Bewley, S Worrall, Heeps 57.4 11-7
4. King, Etheridge, Wright, Kemp 57.6 14-10
5. Kurtz, Allen, Heeps, R Worrall 57.1 17-13
6. Crump, Wright, Rowe, Brennan 58.0 21-15
7. King, Bewley, S Worrall, Kemp 57.2 24-18
8 R Worrall, Allen, Rowe, Etheridge 57.8 27-21
9 Kurtz, Heeps, Allen, Wright 57.2 30-24
10 Bewley, S Worrall, Rowe, Crump 57.8 31-29
11 R Worrall, Kurtz, King, Kemp 58.0 32-34
12 Bewley, Heeps, Rowe, Brennan 58.3 35-37
13 Kurtz, Crump, King, Wright (e/f) 57.0 38-40
14 Allen, S Worrall, Rowe, Etheridge (f/x) 58.5 42-42
15 King, Kurtz, Bewley, Allen 57.6 45-45
Ipswich 1 pt, Belle Vue 2pts.