Witches fly to another win on the road as Rockets rue Garrity engine failure. But the Suffolk side were worthy winners and solid throughout the side

Morten Risager, another in good meeting at Rye House

Morten Risager, another in good meeting at Rye House - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Rye House Rockets 44 Ipswich Witches 46

Ritche Hawkins played a true captain’s role as Ipswich Witches picked up another victory on the road on Saturday, this time at Rye House.

Hawkins sped from gate three in the penultimate heat to seal victory for the Suffolk side as they cemented their second place in the Premier League standings – and Hawkins celebrated a paid 12 points.

The Witches appear back on the form run after an indifferent spell that had a few doubters piping up.

But Witches fans at Hoddesdon on Saturday night will have enjoyed what they saw and, on a notoriously tricky track, their side were deserved winners.

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Jason Garrity was the biggest thorn in the Witches side – along with Rockets’ No.1 Kennett – yet it was Garrity’s engine failure on the final bend, as he led heat 11, that put the Witches in the lead for the first time on the night.

Chris Louis’ team had hung on bravely throughout and didn’t need a second invite. And when Richie Worrall and Tungate lowered Kennett’s colours for the first time in heat 13, it was left to Hawkins to sew the meeting up in the next.

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This was a solid Ipswich performance with only Cameron Heeps and Adam Ellis not scoring many points.

Heeps, though, was worth far more than his three points and his race with Kennett in heat 10 as they passed and re-passed for four pulsating laps was the highlight of the night.

Ellis, meanwhile, suffered an awkward fall when at the back in heat nine.

From the off, Gino Manzares passed Luke Bowen in heat one before Hawkins was excluded in the next for taking off Ben Morley. Tungate was gating superbly and he was joined at the front by Hawkins in heat four, passing Morley in the process.

Tungate was the victim of a ferocious first bend in heat six but the Witches hit back as Hawkins and Manzares gated to victory in heat eight after Morley crashed out.

Heeps and Kennett had a fine battle in heat 10 before Garrity’s engine failure in heat 12. Worrall and Hawkins did the rest in the next two heats and even a last-heat maximum to the home side couldn’t take away a terrific Witches victory.

Rye House team manager John Sampford rued the Garrity engine failure.

“Yes, it all came down to the blow-up and the relentless bike problems for Steve Boxall. For a start, if we had claimed a 3-3 in Heat 12 instead of suddenly conceding a 5-1, we would have won by two points instead of losing by the same margin.

“Unfortunately, there’s not much that you can do about that. We always knew that it was going to be a hard match, and in a tight meeting these little things can make all the difference.”

Rye House scorers: Jason Garrity 12+3 (7 rides), Edward Kennett 12 (5), Jason Bunyan 7+1 (4), Luke Bowen 4+1 (4), Matt Tresarrieu 4+1 (4), Ben Morley 3 (3), Steve Boxall 2 (4)

Ipswich scorers: Ritchie Hawkins 9+3 (5 rides), Morten Risager 9+1 (5), Richie Worrall 8+1 (5), Gino Manzares 8 (4), Rohan Tungate 8 (4), Cameron Heeps 3+1 (4), Adam Ellis 1 (3)

Match Points: Rye House 0 Ipswich 3

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