Ipswich Witches win at home again as Berwick Bandits are sent packing
- Credit: Picture: Steve Waller
Ipswich Witches 56 Berwick Bandits 37
Ipswich Witches moved into second place in the Championship table afer a comfortable win over Berwick at Foxhall Stadium tonight, setting up a huge first versus second confrontation with Edinburgh in Scotland tomorrow evening.
The Suffolk side were far too good against an injury-hit Bandits team who had little answer to the all-round strength of the home side.
It was the Witches eighth league win on the bounce this season.
Already in a good position in the play-off picture, a good result at Edinburgh will be very welcome.
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Back to tonight however, and the Witches were not troubled even though the Bandits never threw the towel in.
The home side powered into a 12-point lead by heat four and although he visitors gamely kept in the meeting, they were never going to take anything from it.
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Ipswich skipper Danny King got a faultless four-ride maximum, while there were confidence-boosting performances from Justin Sedgmen and Kyle Newman, who both impressed.
The Witches will have perhaps thought they would win by more as Berwick were depleted, but the Bandits had a bit of a mid-meeting revival, helped by Witches falls and for that reason this was never a thrashing.
King got the drop on Berwick guest Sam Masters in heat one as the Suffolk side took an early lead.
It was always going to be a tough night for the Bandits and Jay Etheridge didn’t help matters by touching the tapes in heat two. He went off a 15m handicap and it was too much as Connor Mountain and Nathan Greaves gated to the first Witches maximum of the night.
Newman and Sedgmen put the home side in early control of the meeting with another maximum in heat three and already it looked a case of how many points the Witches would get. Kevin Doolan passed Nathan Greaves as Rory Schlein won the next, and Berwick manager Gary Havelock used Sam Masters as a tactical rider in heat five. It paid dividends as Masters won well.
Cameron Heeps went inbetween both Bandits riders in an exciting first lap of heat six as the Witches powered on the misery for the Border side and Schlein made it two out of two for him in the next.
Greaves and Alfie Bowtell had a great scrap for third in heat eight with the Berwick man coming out on top.
Sedgmen fell on turn one of heat nine and was excluded. But Newman produced one of his best starts of the season at Foxhall to win. Heeps was the next Witch on the floor, sliding on turn four as Bowtell did well to lay his bike down.
Berwick had stemmed the flow of Ipswich heat advantages, and got one of their own in race 11. But the Witches saw the meeting out comfortably, with Sedgmen to the fore, finishing his night with two impressive victories, including beating Masters in the nominated race.
Foxhall fans went home happy again as the Witches continued their dominant Foxhall form, something that was missing so badly last season.
Ipswich: D King 12, C Heeps 6+1, J Sedgmen 11, K Newman 10+2, R Schlein 9, C Mountain 3+1, N Greavs 5
Berwick: S Masters 15, B Morley 4+1, D Howe 7, R/R, K Doolan 7, J Etheridge 2+1, A Bowtell 2+2
1 King, Masters, Heeps, Morley 56.4 4-2
2 Greaves, Mountain, Etheridge (15m), Bowtell 58.5 9-3
3 Sedgmen, Newman, Howe, Etheridge 58.3 14-4
4 Schlein, Doolan, Greaves, Bowtell 58.2 18-6
5 Masters*, Sedgmen, Newman, Morley 56.9 21-12
6 King, Heeps, Doolan, Etheridge 56.6 26-13
7 Schlein, Howe, Morley, Mountain 57.9 29-16
8 Heeps, Morley, Bowtell, Greaves 56.7 32-19
9 Newman, Doolan, Etheridge, Sedgmen (f/x) 58.0 35-22
10 King, Howe, Bowtell, Heeps (f/x) 56.6 38-25
11 Masters, Schlein, Morley, Mountain 57.0 40-29
12 Sedgmen, Howe, Greaves, Etheridge 57.7 44-31
13 King, Masters, Schlein, Doolan 56.3 48-33
14 Newman, Doolan, Mountain, Bowtell 58.0 52-35
15 Sedgmen, Masters, Newman, Doolan 57.1 56-37
*tac ride points count double
Ipswich 3 pts. Berwick 0 pts.
Edinburgh 16 35
Ipswich 15 32
Glasgow 12 30
Sheffield 12 24
Redcar 15 24
Workington 10 21
Newcastle 13 19
Peterborough 11 15
Scunthorpe 17 14
Berwick 17 10