Louis left ‘hugely disappointed’ as Witches lose again, this time at Rye House. He vows to work hard with the team to get things back on track

Team manager Chris Louis with Rohan Tungate

Team manager Chris Louis with Rohan Tungate - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Rye House Rockets 51, Ipswich Witches 39

Ipswich ‘Sackers’ Witches boss Chris Louis admitted to be ‘hugely disappointed’ after an Easter to forget for the Foxhall side.

The Witches went into the Easter weekend on a run of four straight victories, including one at Plymouth.

But they lost all three Easter League Cup clashes, including Sunday’s at Rye House Rockets.

“I don’t intend to publicly slate individual riders,” Louis said.

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“That will solve nothing. The rider’s concerned will know they have not performed. But of course I’m hugely disappointed.

“The sad thing for me is that our performances this weekend were lacking in qualities we had in abundance just a few weeks ago.

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“I can’t put my finger on everything but I’ll be working hard with the team to put things right.

“The track on Good Friday wasn’t a good one. We got the preparation wrong and we know that. It’s a rare thing for us and as a spectacle the meeting wasn’t great for our fans who deserved better.

“We let the boys down a bit, it didn’t help them. But there are no excuses for the final result.”

On Sunday the Witches crashed to another defeat, despite being well in the meeting up until heat nine.

Cameron Heeps struggled, while Rohan Tungate scored just a single point. It was never going to be good enough.

“Cameron’s wrist is causing no problems,” Louis added.

“It did at Plymouth and I could see that it would. But we just need to get him firing.

“Gino Manzares keeps beating himself up about things, but he has no reason to do so. He’s made a great start to life with us and I’m really pleased with him.

“We are into Premier League action on Thursday and I must admit I would rather not be going into the meeting on the back of three defeats, but we’ll just have to knuckle down and bounce back.”

The Witches took an early lead at Rye House with Adam Ellis winning heat two and captain Ritchie Hawkins passing Simon Lambert for good measure. Hawkins passed Lambert again in heat four as the home side hit back with a 4-2 of their own.

The Witches were getting pushed wide too often on the first and second turns and Gino Manzares was a victim of that in heat five, although he nearly caught Jason Bunyan on the line.

Kennett and Ellis had a real ding-dong in the next, with Tungate trailed off, as Rye took the lead for the first time, while Morten Risager sprang into life in heat seven with a fine win.

Both Witches went past Simon Lambert in heat eight, the scores still tight at 25-23 in the home side’s favour.

Tungate was having a nightmare meeting and he went through the tapes in heat nine, with Hawkins replacing him.

Heat nine was dramatic as Bunyan passed Hawkins before Ellis passed Jason Garrity. But the Rockets’ man then barged hard under Ellis, almost sending him into the pit fence! Garrity was excluded.

But Rye House were far from beaten and Kennett and former Witch Mat Tresarrieu easily beat Risager and Heeps in heat 10, the Witches now six points adrift. The Witches were providing few race winners and fell apart at the death.

Two 5-1s in heats 12 and 13 condemned them to defeat and leaves their League Cup hopes hanging by a thread with a final heat 5-1 to the visitors only papering over the cracks.


Rye House: E Kennett 9, M Tresarrieu 10+1, J Bunyan 6+2, J Garrity 5, L Bowen 14, S Lambert 1.

Ipswich: R Worrall 10, G Manzares 3+3, M Risager 8+2, C Heeps 4, R Tungate 1, A Ellis 6+1, R Hawkins 7.

Heat details

1 Tresarrieu, Worrall, Manzares, Kennett. 3-3

2 Ellis, Bowen, Hawkins, Lambert. 5-7

3 Bowen, Heeps, Risager, Bunyan, Garrity (t/ex), 8-10

4 Boxall, Hawkins, Lambert, Tungate. 12-12

5 Worrall, Garrity, Bunyan, Manzares. 15-15

6 Kennett, Ellis, Tresarrieu, Tungate. 19-17

7 Risager, Bowen, Boxall, Heeps. 22-20

8 Tresarrieu, Hawkins, Manzares, Lambert. 25-23

9: Bunyan, Hawkins, Ellis, Garrity (ex), Tungate (t/ex). 28-26

10: Kennett, Tresarrieu, Risager, Heeps. 33-27

11: Bowen, Worrall, Manzares, Boxall. 36-30

12: Bowen, Bunyan, Risager, Ellis. 41-31

13: Kennett, Boxall, Tungate, Worrall 46-32

14: Garrity, Heeps, Bowen, Hawkins. 50-34

15: Worrall, Risager, Tresarrieu, Kennett (f) 51-39

Rye House 3pts. Ipswich 0pt.

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