Louis labels Danny King ‘a hero’ after skipper helps keep Ipswich Witches’ season alive
- Credit: Picture: Steve Waller
Ipswich Witches boss Chris Louis labelled his skipper Danny King ‘a hero’ after his last-heat 5-1 maximum with Rohan Tungate grabbed the Suffolk side a vital Premier League point at Somerset last night.
King crashed heavily in heat 13 and aggravated a back injury sustained in Denmark last week.
But with the Witches needing a last heat 5-1 to lose by six, but still grab a point, King went out with star man Tungate and the Witches gained the maximum they needed and deserved.
“Danny was a hero, no doubting that,” Louis said.
“Rohan was of course terrific but Danny was in pain and was only going out in the final race if it meant we could get something from the meeting.
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“I’m proud of all the boys’ efforts. Sometimes I’ve been disappointed with individuals at times this season, but not tonight. That point keeps our season alive.”
The Witches are in direct contest with Plymouth for the final play-off place, with the Witches in action against Berwick at Foxhall tomorrow night and at Rye House on Saturday.
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“Plymouth are still the favourites but we have given ourselves a chance now,” Louis added.
King was on the deck in heat one. But he picked himself up to win the re-run in style.
The Witches were gating well early on, but you have to ride it wide at the fast Oak Tree Arena and as the Witches took time to settle, the Rebels riders took advantage.
Paul Starke passed both Witches in heat two before Tungate, on his way to a superb 16 points, produced two lightning gates to win heats three and four in style.
King flew past both Rebels in a thrilling heat five and with Cameron Heeps battling past Charles Wright, the Witches levelled things up at 15-all. Gino Manzares made another good start in heat six after his crash helmet clipped the tapes at the first time of asking. But home No.1 Brady Kurtz flew past him as the Rebels regained the lead. Tungate had started the meeting in blistering form and passed Grajczonek to win his third heat in the first seven races, with Manzares’ third place levelling the scores up again.
Heeps came from the back to win heat eight as the Ipswich heat winners piled up. But too many last places were costing them dear.
And so it proved when King missed the start in the next and despite all his efforts couldn’t catch the Rebels pair in a crucial race.
And it got worse for the Witches in the next as the previously unbeaten Tungate was relegated into third place, the Witches suddenly eight points behind in a meeting they had been well in.
King won his third race on the bounce in heat 11 and the Witches were looking good in the next before Wright blasted round both the visiting riders.
King took a heavy fall in heat 13 and was lucky to walk away uninjured. His exclusion looked like being the final nail in the coffin until Tungate and King’s last-heat heroics grabbed the Witches a point despite defeat on the night.