Witches get their Premier League campaign off to a winning start as Rohan Tungate and Morten Risager lead the Foxhall side to victory over Scunthorpe.

Gino Manzares, left, and Richie Worrall

Gino Manzares, left, and Richie Worrall - Credit: Picture: Stephen Waller

Ipswich Witches 53 Scunthorpe Scorpions 39

Ipswich ‘Sackers’ Witches bounced back from their Easter horror weekend with a deserved victory over a stubbon Scunthorpe Scorpions side at Foxhall Stadium.

It was the Witches opening Premier League meeting of the new season and the victory was hard-earned.

The Suffolk side didn’t lack bottle and they needed plenty of it against a visiting team who oozed experience, as well as young hot-shot Ryan Douglas at reserve.

Douglas had four rides on the trot at the death, but he couldn’t do enough to grab his side a point, as the Witches took the maximum score.

Superbly led by Rohan Tungate, with great back-up from Morten Risager, and with the whole side looking a completely different unit to the one that so tamely lost to Peterborough last week, Ipswich sent their fans home a happy crowd and showed their capabilities.

Richie Worrall and Gino Manzares got the home side off to just the start they would have wanted, gating to a 5-1 maximum in the first race, before Ritchie Hawkins got into a nasty scrape in the next.

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Trying to avoid Adam Ellis, Hawkins went over his handlebars, but couldn’t get off the bike although, despite a nasty fall, he got up ok.

In the re-run, Matt Williamson led, with Ellis second. But Ellis went back into fourth as Hawkins moved into second. Meanwhile, Douglas fell and Williamson clipped the fence as the Witches picked up a 4-2.

Tungate flew past Douglas on the first lap of heat four to win impressively, while heat five was a cracker.

David Howe and former Witch Leigh Lanham, who was guesting for the Scorpions, flew from the gate. Cameron Heeps kept chasing round the outside before passing Lanham on the line in thrilling fashion.

It buoyed the home side and Manzares and Worrall were away again in the next to stretch the home side’s lead to eight points.

But the Scorpions were up for this meeting and they struck straight back with a maximum of their own, and then Douglas won the next, although in taking his partner Howe wide he let the Witches through for a shared head.

These were tricky times for the home team, But Heeps and Risager showed their gating boots in heat nine as the Witches regained their eight-point advantage.

Ashley Birks kept the hard-charging Worrall at the back as the Scorpions just wouldn’t lay down.

Straight after the interval the Witches came out charging and Tungate and Ellis flew from the start to put the home side 10 points ahead.

It allowed the visitors to use a tactical rider and the impressive Thomas Jorgensen came in for double points. But it was Risager who led well, before Douglas clipped Jorgensen’s wheel and crashed.

Douglas was excluded and in the re-run Risager did it all over again, leading from start to finish.

It maintained Ipswich’s 10-point lead. And the Witches clinched the meeting in the next race with Tungate flying across everyone from the outside gate, with Worrall taking advantage of Douglas’ slip on the final bend.

The meeting was the Witches and now they wanted all three points.

Risager and Tungate made sure of that in the final race, Risager gating to victory, while Tungate passed Jorgensen on lap three for a final race maximum as the Foxhall faithful went home content.

Ipswich: R Worrall 8+1, G Manzares 7+3, M Risager 11, C Heeps 6+2, R Tungate 12+1, A Ellis, 3+1, R Hawkins 6

Scunthorpe: L Lanham 2, D Howe 4, T Jorgensen 13+1, A Birks 6+1, J Auty 3+1, M Williamson 2, R Douglas 9

1 Worrall, Manzares,Lanham, Howe 58.4 5-1

2 Hawkins, Williamson, Ellis, Douglas (f) no time 9-3

3 Jorgensen, Risager, Heeps, Birks 59.3 12-6

4 Tungate, Douglas, Auty, Ellis (f) 59.5 15-9

5 Howe, Heeps, Lanham, Risager 59.5 17-13

6 Worrall, Manzares, Auty, Williamson 58.5 22-14

7 Birks, Jorgensen, Tungate, Ellis 59.3 23-19

8 Douglas, Hawkins, Manzares, Howe 59.6 26-22

9 Risager, Heeps, Auty, Williamson 58.4 31-23

10 Jorgensen, Manzares, Birks, Worrall 59.5 33-27

11 Tungate, Ellis, Howe, Lanham 59.1 38-28

12 Risager, Jorgensen*, Hawkins, Douglas (f/ex) 58.6 42-32

13 Tungate, Worrall, Douglas, Auty 58.9 47-33

14 Douglas, Birks, Heeps, Ellis 60.0 48-38

15 Risager, Tungate, Jorgensen, Douglas (r) 59.1 53-39

* tac ride points count double

Ipswich 3 pts. Scunthorpe 0 pts.

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