Witches suffer huge injury blow as they get thrashed at King’s Lynn
- Credit: Picture: Steve Waller
King’s Lynn Stars 57 Ipswich Witches 33
Ipswich Witches missed the chance to go top of the Premiership after a tough night of racing in Norfolk that left them not just pointless, but with Aussie Cameron Heeps injured.
Heeps withdrew from the meeting after the re-run of heat five that saw him fly heavily into the King's Lynn air fence as the home side went on to win comfortably, 57-33.
He damaged his right leg.
It left the visitors up against it and only Danny King (16) got among the visitors on a disappointing night for the Foxhall club who have been so good on their travels.
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But the main concern was for Heeps.
"Cam went to hospital for check-ups on a leg injury," Witches boss Ritchie Hawkins confirmed.
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"It was a shame because the track was grippy and he would have revelled in it. We are just keeping our fingers crossed it's not serious.
"But, look, we were well and truly beaten here tonight.
"Losing Cam was a big blow and Chris Harris hurt his wrist again in a fall in the first running of the race. Luckily Danny was superb tonight. And Jake Allen rode really well for little reward He will have learned much.
"That's our first pasting we've got all season. Now we need to pick ourselves up and go to Poole on Thursday where we have done well before.
"It was a King's Lynn track that I remember when I was racing, and you don't see those types of tracks often nowadays. A few of our boys were not experienced enough on it or confident. If we went back there again in those conditions we would do a lot better."
The Witches got off to a poor start which for them away from home has been unusual for much of this season.
Indeed they were 10-2 down after two races, the King's Lynn riders sharper from the starts on a grippy track.
Danny King and Thomas Jorgensen had a great battle in heat three with the Ipswich rider nosing in front at one stage before the home man came back at him, while Cook won heat four by a distance.
Both Witches were on the deck at the start of heat five with Heeps and Chris Harris biting the shale.
It was a re-run with all four but Heeps took another heavy fall and was excluded. He received medical treatment before withdrawing from the meeting.
Harris gated well in the third re-run, but went too wide as both Stars' riders went past. It had been a tough start to the meeting for Ipswich and Michael Palm-Toft made things even tougher for Ipswich as he past both Richard Lawson and Edward Kennett - the Stars led by 18.
King became the first Witch to take the chequered flag in heat seven, the first of four race wins for the skipper, as both Stars riders went past Jake Allen who had made a good gate.
Palm-Toft was in cracking form and he won heat eight easily.
King came in for a tactical ride in heat nine and won again, with Lawson picking up third as the Witches gained their first heat advantage of the night.
King was on it again in the next but the fast-starting Allen was caught by Palm-Toft on the line.
Harris became only the second Witch to win a heat in race 11, but it was all too little, too late and the Suffolk side will have to pick themselves up and dust themselves down for a top-of-the-table clash with Poole Pirates on Thursday at Wimborne Road.
King's Lynn: R/R, M Palm Toft 12+2, E Riss 14, T Jorgensen 9+2, C Cook 9+2, L Kerr 10+2, N Porsing 3+1
Ipswich: C Harris 4, C Heeps 1, D King 16, J Allen 3, R Lawson 5+1, E Kennett 1, K Pieszczek 3+1.
1 Palm-Toft, Cook, Heeps, Harris 58.8 5-1
2 Kerr, Porsing, Kennett, Pieszczek 59.6 10-2
3 Jorgensen, King, Riss, Allen 58.4 14-4
4 Cook, Pieszczek, Lawson, Porsing 58.9 17-7
5 Riss, Jorgensen, Harris, Heeps (Fx) 58.7 22-8
6 Riss, Palm-Toft, Lawson, Kennett (R) 58.5 27-9
7 King, Cook, Kerr, Allen 58.1 30-12
8 Toft, Allen, Pieszczek, Porsing 58.3 33-15
9 King*, Riss, Lawson, Jorgensen 58.7 35-19
10 King, Jorgensen, Toft, Allen 58.9 38-22
11 Harris, Kerr, Cook, Kennett (R) 59.21 41-25
12 Riss, King, Porsing, Pieszczek 4-2 58.3 45-27
13 Toft, Lawson, Cook, Harris (R) 58.6 49-29
14 Kerr, Jorgensen, Allen, Pieszczek 59.2 54-30
15 King, Riss, Kerr, Lawson 59.0 57-33
Lynn 3 pts. Ipswich 0 pts.