King to the max as Witches grab the win in last-heat decider
- Credit: Picture: Steve Waller
Ipswich Witches 48 Rye House Rockets 45
Danny King warmed up for Saturday night’s British Grand Prix at Cardiff with a superb 15-point maximum as Ipswich Witches picked up all three points at Foxhall Stadium on Thursday night.
King was in superb form, gating to the front and playing his part in three 5-1 maximums with team-mate James Sarjeant.
However, the Witches only won this meeting in the final race, due in no small part to a dramatic heat 11 that saw Joe Jacobs excluded while challenging tactical rider Eddie Kennett, of the Rockets.
With Ben Barker already ahead, things were looking good for the Witches to repel the tactical ride before Jacobs crashed under huge pressure from Kennett. In the re-run, Kennett shot to the front to reduce the Witches lead at the time to five.
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One heat later it was just a point after a Rockets’ 5-1 maximum and. having been 10 ahead after heat 10, the Witches were reliant on the immaculate King to seal the deal in a last-heat deciding heat 15.
But the Witches deserved this, in fact they deserved to win by more, despite the Rockets’ tenacity. However, they will need this and more in the summer ahead to climb up the Premier League table.
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They must put sides to bed when they have them on the ropes and too many silly errors allow the opposition back into meetings they are pretty well dead and buried in. A bit more mental strength at the right times perhaps, because there is little doubt this is a competent Witches team.
Ipswich now have a succession of home meetings in the next three weeks and will look to get plenty more results like this to boost their faint play-off hopes.
All the Witches showed their true colours at one stage or another, with Danyon Hume and Jacobs showing up well, despite not getting their points their efforts deserved.
For the visitors, Kennett was below his usual good Foxhall form, but the Rockets’ never-say-die attitude gained them a deserved point.
Witches team manager Ritchie Hawkins admitted his side made hard work of the win and says it could be down to a lack of regular meetings at Foxhall.
“We made it real close again and we dropped away a bit,” said Hawkins. Obviously the double points worked well for them but we made it hard for ourselves. However, we got the win and we’d prefer to win by a bigger margin but it is what it is.
“I think this year we are not dominant at home for a number of factors. We’ve got a lot of new riders and we’ve not had regular fixtures at home, so they haven’t had chance to get that home track advantage.”
1 King, Sarjeant, Lykke, Kennett (e/f) 56.7 5-1
2 Branford, Morley, Jacobs, Hume 58.7 6-6
3 Risager, Heeps, Covatti, Lanham 58.2 10-8
4 Barker, Robson, Hume, Morley 57.7 14-10
5 Covatti, Lykke, Kennett, Risager 57.7 17-13
6 King, Sarjeant, Robson, Branford 57.3 22-14
7 Barker, Heeps, Lanham, Hume (f) 58.5 25-17
8 Lykke, Jacobs, Morley, Sarjeant (15m) 58.1 27-21
9 Robson, Covatti, Risager, Branford 58.0 30-24
10 King, Sarjeant, Lanham, Heeps (f/x) 58.2 35-25
11 Kennett*, Barker, Lykke, Jacobs (f/x) 57.9 37-32
12 Branford, Heeps, Covatti, Hume 59.5 38-37
13 King, Robson, Barker, Kennett 58.0 42-39
14 Risager, Lanham, Morley, Jacobs 58.5 45-42
15 King, Robson, Heeps, Sarjeant 58.5 48-45
*tac ride points count double
Ipswich 3 pts. Rye House 1 pts.
Ipswich: D King 15, J Sarjeant 6+3, N Covatti 7, M Risager 7+1, B Barker 9, J Jacobs 3, D Hume 1.
Rye House: E Kennett 7+1, K Lykke 7, C Heeps 7+2, L Lanham 4+1, S Robson 10, R Branford 6, B Morley 4+2.
Glasgow 12 25
Berwick 14 24
Sheffield 11 24
Peterborough 10 23
Somerset 7 22
Rye House 10 18
Newcastle 8 15
Workington 9 14
Edinburgh 10 14
Plymouth 13 13
Ipswich 12 12
Redcar 11 9
Scunthorpe 9 6