More injury woe for Witches on their travels but they battle bravely at Newcastle despite having only five riders!
- Credit: Picture: Steve Waller
Newcastle Diamonds 52 Ipswich Witches 38
Ipswich Witches suffered more injury woe on their travels with defeat at Newcastle tonight.
Already without Nico Covatti (injured) and Cameron Heeps (ill), the visitors from Suffolk lost guest rider Josh Bates after just one race, as he suffered a wrist injury.
It left the Suffolk side with just five riders, two of them young reserves, so it was to their credit they hung in the meeting for as long as they did. Skipper Danny King led the way with three heat wins and 13 points, while young Danyon Hume did well at reserve with eight points.
King got the visitors off to a brilliant start winning from the outside gate, before both Witches settled in the minor placings after an eventful heat two that saw Connor Coles of Newcastle fall and his team-mate Danny Phllips also almost come to grief.
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The Witches fell behind in heat three after the fast-starting King was passed by both Diamonds. Josh Bates, who did such a fine job for the Witches on Saturday night, fell at the back but was able to walk back to the pits.
Rory Schlein won the next as Phillips got third place on the line from Connor Mountain and while King won heat five, the news that Bates was ruled out of the meeting with a wrist injury he picked up in his first ride, meant it was going to be a long night for the Suffolk side, who were now down to just five riders.
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The track was causing a few issues and Schlein fell in heat six as the Diamonds stretched their lead to four.
Witches reserves Hume and Mountain were now going to be busy, with Bates out of the meeting.
Humes enjoyed another impressive ride in heat seven as the Witches bravely held onto the coat-tails of the Diamonds and when Phillips looped at the start of heat eight, the Witches were still just four points behind with half the meeting gone. Humes fell on the first bend of the next and was excluded.
It left Schlein on his own and he rode a typically brave race to grab victory. The Witches were doing well, but it all went wrong in heat 10 as both Sarjeant – riding possibly his last meeting for Ipswich with his temporary loan spell ending – and Mountain, both fell, gifting the home side a maximum 5-1.
Steve Worrall wons his second race of the night as the home side closed in on victory and they achieved that in heat 12 with a maximum score.
Robert Lambert passed Schlein in heat 13 and the Witches two young reserves shared heat 14.
Heat details from Newcastle
1 King, Lambert, Sarjeant, Morris 61.8 2-4
2 Phillips, Hume, Mountain, Coles 68.0 5-7
3 Lindgren, Rose, King, Bates 62.1 10-8
4 Schlein, Worrall, Phillips, Mountain 63.7 13-11
5 King, Rose, Lindgren, Sarjeant 62.1 16-14
6 Lambert, Hume, Morris, Schlein (f) 64.1 20-16
7 Worrall, Hume, Schlein, Coles 63.3 23-19
8 Morris, Mountain, Sarjeant, Phillips 65,3 26-22
9 Schlein, Rose, Lindgren, Hume (f/x) 63.3 29-25
10 Lambert, Rose, Sarjeant, Mountain 63.6 34-26
11 Worrall, Sarjeant, King, Coles 63,4 37-29
12 Rose, Phillips, Hume, Mountain 64.7 42-30
13 Worrall, King, Lambert, Schlein 63,1 46-32
14 Lindgren, Mountain, Hume, Coles 64.6 49-35
15 King, Lambert, Worrall, Schlein 62.8 52-38
Newcastle 3 pts. Ipswich 0 pts.
Newcastle: R Lambert 11, A Morris 6+1, L Rose 8+2, L Lindgren 9+1, S Worrall 12+1, C Coles 0, D Phillips 6+2
Ipswich: D King 13+1, J Sarjeant 5+1, R/R, J Bates 0, R Schlein 7+1, D Hume 8+1, C Mountain 5+1
Meanwhile former Witches star Tomasz Gollob could face paralysis after a motocross crash.
The 2010 world champion, who was part of the all-conquering 1998 Witches team which won the treble, was airlifted to the Bydgoszcz Military Hospital after suffering serious spinal and lung injuries during the event at nearby Chelmno.
Leading neurologist Professor Marek Harat carried out a three-hour operation, and revealed-time FIM Speedway World Cup winner sustained “very serious damage to the spinal cord”, but confirmed it hadn’t been broken.
Gollob suffered injuries to the T7 vertebrae and is also said to be receiving support with his breathing after damaging both lungs.
In a post on Gollob’s official website, Professor Harat confirms the 46-year-old could face paralysis.
But with the spinal cord intact, he refuses to jump to any immediate conclusions about the future prognosis of Poland’s greatest speedway star.
He said: “There has been very serious damage to the spinal cord, although it has not been interrupted. Tomasz is threatened with paralysis, but we will not prejudge anything.”