Witches bemoan their luck after they lose at Edinburgh

Nico Covatti, in good form again for the Witches last night

Nico Covatti, in good form again for the Witches last night - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Edinburgh 53 Ipswich Witches 37

Ipswich ‘Sackers’ Witches boss Chris Louis bemoaned his side’s bad luck after they were beaten in the Premier League at Edinburgh on Friday night.

Although the home side were always likely to take victory on their tight home circuit, the Witches were making a good fist of things until heat 10 saw Rohan Tungate excluded while leading, under pressure from home man Sam Masters.

“There was no lack of effort on our part,” Louis said.

“Heat 10 was a big turning point. We were right in the meeting and I felt Rohan was bundled off by Sam. I wasn’t alone in that thinking either. It knocked the stuffing out of us as we were on a 4-2 advantage and that switched round to them getting a 4-2.

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“Yes, I’m disappointed losing by the amount we did in the end, but as I said, that heat 10 was crucial.”

The Witches got off to a great start as Gino Manzares and Danny King rocketed from the gate to give the Suffolk side a 5-1 first heat lead.

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Josh Bates, guesting for Stefan Nielsen, who was injured in a car crash on Thursday night, although he has been released from hospital, split the Monarchs in the next.

Manzares fell while chasing the Edinburgh duo in heat three as the home side took the lead and Tungate got the better of Max Clegg – although Ipswich’s early bright start was already fading.

King almost got Justin Sedgmen on the line in an exciting heat five but again the Witches conceded a heat advantage and were now six points down at 18-12.

Heat six was a shared race as the Monarchs made it five straight individual heat winners.

The Witches were in vital need of some inspiration and they got it courtesy of Nico Covatti, who lowered Monarchs star Craig Cook’s colours with a smooth victory.

It was just the boost the Suffolk side needed and Manzares and Bates scored an easy 5-1 maximum in heat eight to reduce the deficit to just two points in the home side’s favour.

But all the good work by Manzares and Bates was undone as the Monarchs hit straight back with a 5-1 of their own over Tungate.

Tungate was straight out again in the next and was leading before Masters dived under him on lap three. Tungate fell and was excluded.

It left the Witches eight points behind and now in need of a big finish.

Clegg fell when third in heat 11 but when the Monarchs got a 4-2 in heat 12, the meeting was as good as over for the Witches – apart from the hope of gaining a consolation point.

But even that didn’t happen, although Tungate did produce a cracking ride to beat Masters and Cook in heat 13. A 4-2 to the home side in heat 14 and a 5-1 in the final race – Sedgmen completing a paid maximum – saw Edinburgh run out comfortable winners, as the Suffolk team’s Premier League campaign continues to stutter along.

Edinburgh: S Masters 8+1, R Branford 1, K Wolbert 10, J Sedgmen 13+2, C Cook 12+1, E Riss 7+1, M Clegg 2

Ipswich: D King 7, G Manzares 6+2, N Covatti 10, R/R, R Tungate 9, J Bates 5+2, R Hawkins 0.

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