Last heat drama for Ipswich Witches at Swindon Robins.....
- Credit: Picture: Steve Waller
Swindon Robins 46 Ipswich Witches 44
Ipswich Witches were just half a lap away from what would have been a superb draw at Swindon Robins in the Premiership, before former world champion Jason Doyle spoiled the visitors' party.
The Foxhall Heath side needed a 4-2 in the final race to draw and with the excellent Krystian Pieszczek leading and Danny King in third, that looked likely.
However, Doyle found the drive to pass the Pole on the final two bends to seal the win for the Robins with a win - the Witches picking up another impressive point on the road as they stay level at the top of the table with Poole.
"Yes, just half a lap to go we would have had a draw," Witches boss Ritchie Hawkins said.
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"But Doyle is so good, that's why he's been a world champ.
"I have no complaints about our performance. We battled throughout and it's another point on the road - five this week, which is what we need."
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While Pieszczek, King and Edward Kennett all impressed for the Witches, there were was a quieter night for Cameron Heeps (one point) and Chris Harris (four).
"Of course if we all fired at the same time we would be unbeatable," Hawkins added.
"We have made our team up of solid six and seven point riders who will have ups and downs. Every rider has won meetings for us this season. Tonight Krystian was superb."
Although disappointing to lose in the final heat, make no bones about it, this was a good point on the road for Ipswich, following up their big win at Peterborough on Monday.
Swindon won the toss and Doyle and David Bellego, who had started the season as a Witch, sped away for an easy 5-1 start for the home side.
But the Witches hit straight back, Kennett and Jake Allen levelling the scores, despite the efforts of Ellis Perks from the Robins.
King and Heeps gated on a 5-1 in heat three, but Adam Ellis got past Heeps, before Rasmus Jensen picked off King on the final bend.
Troy Batchelor won a shared heat four and again a Witch was denied on the run-in to the flag as Adam Ellis pipped Chris Harris.
It was 16-14 and the Witches had made a decent start against a home side who are notoriously tough to beat on their home patch.
Bellego went from third to first to win heat six, passing Pieszczek to make it two out of two for the Frenchman.
Heeps went through the tapes in heat seven, Allen replaced him.
It was King who hit the front to win well as the Witches continued to gate impressively.
Kennett streaked from the gate to win his second race of the nght in heat eight and lower Bellego's colours for the first time, as the Witches pulled two points back and trailed 23-25.
Ellis went through the tapes in heat nine and started off 15m and with Pieszczek winning and Allen third, the Witches had levelled it up.
Doyle won heat 10 but the Witches packed the minor placings as Batchelor won the next.
It was boiling up to a grand finale at 33-33 as the Witches again showed their battling qualities on their travels.
Swindon were back gating well now and Jensen won a fourth shared heat on the bounce.
Harris went through the tapes in a crucial heat 13 and Allen replaced him. It was a blow for the Witches, but no-one told Pieszczek, the Pole flying from the start to beat Doyle and Batchelor.
Heeps almost got up to pip Perks for a vital third in the penultimate heat, but it was the Robins who took a two-point lead into the final race and Doyle sealed the deal.
Swindon: J Doyle 11+1, D Bellego 7+1, R Jensen 8, A Ellis 7, T Batchelor 10, E Perks 3+1, T Kurtz 0
Ipswich: C Harris 4+1, R Lawson 4+1, D King 9+2, C Heeps 1+1, K Pieszczek 12, E Kennett 10, J Allen 4+2
1 Doyle, Bellego, Harris, Lawson 61.9 5-1
2 Kennett, Allen, Perks, Kurtz 62.1 6-6
3 Jensen, King, Ellis, Heeps 62.1 10-8
4 Batchelor, Pieszczek, Allen, Kurtz 60.9 13-11
5 Ellis, Harris, Lawson, Jensen 62.2 16-14
6 Bellego, Pieszczek, Doyle, Kennett 61.5 20-16
7 King, Batchelor, Perks, Allen 62.0 23-19
8 Kennett, Bellego, Lawson, Perks 62.1 25-23
9 Pieszczek, Jensen, Allen, Ellis (15m) 62.5 27-27
10 Doyle, King, Heeps, Bellego 62.4 30-30
11 Batchelor, Lawson, Harris, Perks 62.9 33-33
12 Jensen, Kennett, King, Kurtz 62.2 36-36
13 Pieszczek, Batchelor, Doyle, Allen 62.7 39-39
14 Ellis, Kennett, Perks, Heeps 63.0 43-41
15 Doyle, Pieszczek, King, Batchelor 63.4 46-44
Swindon 3 pts. Ipswich 1 pts.