Vintage display by Louis at Foxhall

A VINTAGE display by Ipswich skipper Chris Louis was the highlight of the Witches' 55-35 Elite League victory over Belle Vue at Foxhall Stadium last night.

By Elvin King

A VINTAGE display by Ipswich skipper Chris Louis was the highlight of the Witches' 55-35 Elite League victory over Belle Vue at Foxhall Stadium last night.

The 37-year-old scorched to a paid maximum - his second of the season - and featured in one memorable heat when he chased and then overtook England international Simon Stead on the run-in to the finishing line.

Louis took a heavy knock at Reading on Monday when he was pushed into the fence at speed by Racers rider Matej Zagar.

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But he dusted himself down and produced a faultless display in an easy win over a weakened bottom-of-the-table Aces side.

The two points took Ipswich out of the bottom two above Reading and level on points with Eastbourne, and although it was comfortable enough it was not as emphatic as the 65-25 hammering the Witches handed out on Belle Vue's previous visit to Suffolk.

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Stead stood between the Aces and another hiding on a night when the rider replacement facility for Antonio Lindback accrued six points.

Stead was rushed to hospital with internal injuries on Belle Vue's last visit, but he showed that he had no fears about coming back to Foxhall with a confident victory in heat one.

Any thoughts that Ipswich would run away with proceedings from the start were soon dismissed with a visiting rider taking the chequered flag in four of the first seven races.

After Tobi Kroner notched his customary reserves' race three points, Louis showed the way for the Witches when he flew from third to first on the opening lap of race three.

Robert Miskowiak did well to finish second when he suffered a puncture in the next heat, with Stead again in splendid touch.

And when Stead won for the third time in the opening six races, the Aces were still hanging on to the Ipswich coat tails.

It looked as though they would level in the next heat, but both Miskowiak and Marcin Rempala passed Joe Screen in style on the final circuit.

Kroner was joined by the in-form Kim Jansson to score a 5-1 in heat eight as Ipswich doubled their lead to eight points.

Louis and Stead lined up in heat nine both unbeaten, and it looked as the Belle Vue man would come out on top when he made the gate and held off a severe challenge from the home skipper for three laps.

Then Louis made one final attempt, and squeezed home by half a wheel width after a magnificent last bend inside pass.

The crowd went wild to salute a splendid race between two honest and talented riders, and there was more good cheer for the Foxhall faithful when Jesper B Jensen found his form and was followed home by partner Jansson for a 5-1 in heat ten.

This put the Witches 14 points ahead, and led to Kevin Doolan riding for double points in the next race. But as a tactical rider he had to beat an opponent to do so - something he failed to do when Rempala went from last to second in style as Ipswich clocked up their third 5-1 in four races.

And it was another maximum advantage to Ipswich in race 12 thanks to Kroner and Louis, with the sequence broken when Stead made a swift break to win heat 13 ahead of the chasing Miskowiak.

Belle Vue kept battling as best they could and they gained their only heat advantage in the penultimate race.

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