Mills stars as Witches head off Monarchs
Ipswich Witches 51 Edinburgh Monarchs 41
IPSWICH Witches picked up all three points after a rugged meeting at Foxhall Stadium last night.
The clash between the reigning champions Edinburgh, and the Witches was littered with some awful-looking crashes.
With some superb racing in between however, the meeting certainly didn’t lack action and the home fans went home happy.
By the end of the meeting many riders looked like that had gone 10 rounds with Mike Tyson, rather than a speedway clash.
But there must be alarm bells ringing in the Foxhall management’s ears, as captain Kevin Doolan scored just four points, while guest Kozza Smith’s contribution was a match winner.
Doolan hasn’t looked the same rider who was so dominant at the start of the campaign, for some weeks now, yet his contribution is so crucial to the side.
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And with Chris Schramm and Morten Risager out injured, a step to find a replacement has surely intensified after this.
Indeed Doolan went from second to the back in heat one, which hardly inspired confidence, but with Poole at the front there was little harm done.
Three riders hit the deck in the next, with Jerran Hart excluded. In the re-run Chris Mills sped from the outside to win for the ‘Sackers’ Witches. But the crashes continued to come thick and fast, and Mills was down at the start of heat three.
It was a stop-start beginning to the meeting, with just two races completed in the first 45 minutes.
Andrew Tully was next to be excluded after he took avoiding action to miss his team-mate Kalle Katajisto in the re-run, that saw Kozza Smith and Mills put the Witches ahead.
Lasse Bjerre won the next before Mills, who was having a hectic start to the meeting, linked up with Smith again to put Ipswich 10 points ahead. Mills was proving a real hero at the start of this meeting, despite his ankle hurting after his heat two crash. Cook was out for a tactical ride in heat six and he made the start, but Doolan was on him in a flash and on lap two passed him well, and as Cook got out of shape, Poole also nipped through.
It was a killer blow by Doolan and Hart kept the screw turned in heat seven, with Bjerre surprisingly at the back.
Bjerre was not getting out of the starts, but that made it more exciting, as he passed Lee Dicken on the final lap of heat nine.
Edinburgh had won two heats on the bounce.
Katajisto took an awful-looking crash in heat 10, but fortunately made his way up as Poole won well, holding off Andrew Tully, as the Witches stretched thier lead to 16.
Bjerre produced a simply awesome pass on both Edinburgh riders in heat 11, as they threatened to pull back a shedload of points. Tully passed Mills in the next and Bjerre went past Cook in heat 13.
The Monarchs were making a meeting of it, but Hart and Smith secured all three points with a perfect gate in heat 14, as the Foxhall faithful went home more than happy, even more so after watching Cameron Heeps, the Mildenhall-bound Australian youngster, fly round Foxhall after the meeting.
Home: K Doolan 4, T Poole 9+1, R/R, K Smith 10+1, L Bjerre 10+1, J Hart 7, C Mills 11+2, L Blackbird 0.
Away: K Wolbert 9+2, M Wethers 9, A Tully 9+1, K Katajisto 3+1, C Cook 7, L Dicken 3, J Knight 1+1
1 Poole, Wethers, Wolbert, Doolan 59.4 3-3
2 Mills, Dicken, Knight, Hart (f/ex) 61.9 6-6
3 Smith, Mills, Katajisto, Tully (f/ex) 60.3 11-7
4 Bjerre, Cook, Hart, Dicken, Knight (ex\t) 59.2 15-9
5 Smith, Mills, Wolbert, Wethers 58.8 20-10
6 Doolan, Poole, Cook*, Dicken 59.7 25-11
7 Hart, Tully, Katajisto, Bjerre 59.5 28-14
8 Wethers, Mills, Poole, Knight 59.8 31-17
9 Cook, Smith, Bjerre, Dicken 60.0 34-20
10 Poole, Tully, Doolan, Katajisto (f/ex) 60.2 38-22
11 Bjerre, Wethers*, Wolbert, Hart 60.3 41-27
12 Tully, Mills, Dicken, Bjerre 60.8 43-31
13 Wolbert, Bjerre, Cook, Doolan 60.3 45-35
14 Hart, Smith, Katajisto, Knight 60.7 50-36
15 Wolbert, Tully, Bjerre, Smith 60.8 51-41
Witches 3 points, Monarchs 0
*Tactical ride, points count double