Ipswich Witches win at Plymouth Devils despite curfew cutting meeting short!
- Credit: Archant
Ipswich ‘Sackers’ Witches boosted their Premier League play-off hopes with a fine victory at Plymouth on Friday.
In a meeting that had be be halted after 13 heats because of a curfew at the Devon track, the Suffolk side were never behind and – but for the home side’s Mikkel Bech – would have won this by far more.
The Witches were without the injured Rohan Tungate, but every visiting rider came to the party much to the delight of Witches team boss Pete Simmons.
“It was a long night, but we rode with out heads,” he said.
“They have some good riders and will get stronger at home as the season goes on, so this was a great result for us and all four points too.”
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The Witches could not have asked for a better start to the meeting, with Ben Barker and Cameron Heeps, and then Adam Ellis and Ritchie Hawkins gating to the front in heats one and two as the Witches took a 2-10 lead.
However, it proved a bit too good to be true and the Devils hit straight back in heat three, with Heeps and Morten Risager at the back.
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Captain Leigh Lanham won a twice-run heat four on a sun-kissed evening in Devon and Barker hit the deck after a first-bend clash with the fast-starting Mikkel Bech in heat five.
Barker was down for some time, but got back to his feet and was ready for the re-run, which Bech raced away to win.
Plymouth guest for the night Kozza Smith was leading heat six. But he spun out of control on the third bend of lap three and Ellis piled into him.
The Ipswich 16-year-old was soon up and about. Four of the first six heats had been re-run and the re-run of heat six saw Lanham and Ellis shoot to the front, as the Witches increased their lead to eight.
Heeps and Hawkins looked likely to extend that lead, but Mark Lemon took Hawkins wide, as Jake Anderson nipped through.
Bech was looking hugely impressive and he won his third race on the trot in heat nine as the Devils closed the gap to six.
Risager won heat 10 and heat 11 saw yet another re-run after three riders hit the deck.
This latest stoppage meant it had taken two hours to complete 10 races and with a 9.30pm curfew at the small Devon raceway, it was announced the meeting would be halted at the time of curfew, although the result would stand.
Barker and Heeps sealed the meeting for the Witches in heat 11, before Lemon touched the tapes in heat 13 and the Witches added gloss to the score with Lanham and Barker impressing and the Witches picking up all four points.