Witches cruise into the KO Cup final as Risager leads the charge down in Devon
- Credit: Picture: Steve Waller
Plymouth Devils 47 Ipswich Witches 43. Agg: 72-108
Ipswich ‘Sackers’ Witches cruised easily into the Knock-Out Cup final for the second consecutive season, after seeing off Plymouth Devils.
With a 40-point lead from the first leg at Foxhall, the Suffolk side were never in any serious danger of not going through to the final – where they will meet either Newcastle, Glasgow or Edinburgh.
However, nothing could be taken for granted and the Suffolk side put on a professional show in Devon, to make sure the tie was wrapped up as early as heat eight.
Morten Risager was the Witches star with an excellent 14 points and both Richie Worrall and Adam Ellis also enjoyed good nights.
But the Witches were solid, although Gino Manzares suffered another unfortunate evening.
Plymouth were always going to try and attack the Witches from the off, to try and unnerve them.
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Indeed if Kyle Newman and Roland Benko hadn’t made errors in the opening heats, the Devon side could have been ahead after just two races, rather than still be all level.
Risager won the first of his four races on a good night for the Dane in heat three and that settled the visitors down.
While Witches skipper Ritchie Hawkins, who had a shocking meeting in the League fixture a couple of weeks ago, showed his skills, as he filled the minor placings in his races.
The first time the home side took the lead was in heat six as the impressive Newman won well, but Risager and Gino Manzares levelled it up in the next, even though Witches American star – who had such a torrid night at Foxhall on Thursday – had to push round for a point when he packed up, as his recent woes continued. Richie Worrall won heat nine with the meeting already over as an aggregate contest. But it was then the Devils took control, with Newman again to the fore.
Sam Simota and Josef Franc also came to the party as Worrall’s exclusion in heat 13 when he slid off, saw the Devils home on the night, but the Witches were into the cup final – finishing with a 5-1 maximum through Risager and Worrall.
In the Witches play-off group, Somerset picked up a valuable point at Scunthorpe, the Scorpions winning 46-44.
1 Lawson, Hawkins, Tungate, Newman 52.8 3-3
2 Simota, Heeps, Ellis, Benko 52.7 6-6
3 Risager, Newman, Manzares, Wright 51.4 8-10
4 Simota, Ellis, Worrall, Franc 52.1 11-13
5 Wright, Hawkins, Simota, Tungate 52.0 15-15
6 Newman, Worrall, Lawson, Heeps 51.8 19-17
7 Risager, Benko, Manzares, Franc (f/x) 52.9 21-21
8 Newman, Ellis, Hawkins, Simota 52.1 24-24
9 Worrall, Wright, Franc, Heeps 52.6 27-27
10 Newman, Risager, Lawson, Manzares 51.8 31-29
11 Simota, Franc, Tungate, Hawkins 52.2 36-30
12 Risager, Wright, Simota, Heeps 51.7 39-33
13 Lawson, Tungate, Franc, Worrall (f/x) 51.9 43-35
14 Ellis, Simota, Benko, Manzares (e/f) 52.3 46-38
15 Risager, Worrall, Newman, Franc 51.2 47-43
(heat details courtesy Speedway Updates)
Plymouth: R Lawson 10, K Newman 12+1, J Wright 7, R/R, J Franc 4+1, R Benko 3+1, S Simota 13+1
Ipswich: R Tungate 4+1, R Hawkins 5+1, M Risager 14, G Manzares 2+1, R Worrall 8+2, C Heeps 2, A Ellis 8+1