Witches get their season off to a perfect start with 10-point win over Rye House Rockets. Adam Ellis the star man for Witches
- Credit: Picture: Stephen Waller
Ipswich ‘Sackers’ Witches got their League Cup campaign off to the perfect of starts with a ten-point victory over Rye House Rockets at Foxhall Stadium.
Two 5-1 maximums in the first two races gave the home side early breathing space and although the Hertfordshire side battled throughout, they never seriously threatened to take anything from this meeting.
The Witches were well served by reserves Ritchie Hawkins and especially young Adam Ellis.
The youngest member in a very young Witches side, Ellis made some great starts and proved to be the match-winner, with both Rohan Tungate and Cameron Heeps having quiet nights.
American Gino Manzares was impressive on his home team debut with a paid eight points and some seriously tidy racing, while No.1 Richie Worrall looked strong leading from the front.
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As opening team meetings go, this was just what the doctor ordered for Chris Louis side in what could have been a tricky fixture.
Rye House had already won at Peterborough two weeks ago and have a solid look, as well as a big No.1 rider in Edward Kennett.
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But the fact the Witches could win this meeting without some of their star riders firing on all cylinders speaks volumes. And the Foxhall faithful certainly went home happy from this meeting
Manzares and Worrall got the Witches off to just the start they must have been dreaming of all day, as they gated to a 5-1.
Skipper Hawkins passed Luke Bowen down the back straight in heat two, linking up with the fast-starting Ellis at the front. It was 10-2 to Witches already but the Rockets looked set to hit back in the next when former Witch Matt Tresarrieu and Jason Garrity gated to the front.
But Tresarrieu fell on right in front of Morten Risager going into turn three. Both riders were up ok, but Tresarrieu was excluded.
However, Garrity showed good form from the outside gate to win the re-run.
The Rockets were showing the type of determination which gained them that two-point win at Peterborough last week and Steve Boxall won heat four.
Risager suffered engine failure on the final lap of the next as the Rockets won a third heat on the bounce and Ipswich were looking a tad ragged at this stage.
Worrall rode a hard first turn to push Boxall out of the way, as he won his second race of the night and Ellis also won his second of the night, jetting from gate four. It settled the Witches down.
Risager had endured a poor night but sprang into action in heat nine, with Heeps passing Bowen.
Garrity was proving a star for the Rockets and he and Manzares had a great scrap for the lead in the next, with Worrall surprisingly at the back.
The Witches were up by eight and it stayed that way after heat 11. Risager won his second of the night as the home side closed in on victory.
Worrall produced a stunning pass on Kennett on the second lap of heat 13, as the Witches increased their lead to 10.
The Witches couldn’t be beaten now, but the Rockets still had an outside chance of a bonus point.
Ellis however was in no mood to gift the visitors anything and another jet-propelled start in heat 14 saw him pick up a third heat win.
Ellis and Worrall shared the final heat – and the Witches job was complete.
1 Worrall, Manzares, Boxall, Kennett 59.5 3-3
2 Ellis, Hawkins, Bowen, Lambert 60.5 10-2
3 Garrity, Heeps, Risager, Tresarreiu (ex) 60.3 13-5
4 Boxall, Hawkins, Tungate, Lambert 60.3 16-8
5 Kennett, Heeps, Tresarrieu, Risager (ef) 59.7 18-12
6 Worrall, Boxall, Manzares, Bowen 59.5 22-14
7 Ellis, Tresarrieu, Garrity, Tungate 59.6 25-17
8 Garrity, Hawkins, Manzares, Lambert 60.8 28-20
9 Risager, Boxall, Heeps, Bowen 60.0 32-22
10 Garrity, Manzares, Tresarrieu, Worrall 61.1 34-26
11 Kennett, Tungate, Ellis, Bowen 60.3 37-29
12 Risager, Bowen, Tresarrieu, Hawkins 60.5 40-32
13 Worrall, Kennett, Tungate, Boxall 60.6 44-34
14 Ellis, Bowen, Garrity, Heeps 61.3 47-37
15 Kennett, Worrall, Ellis, Garrity 61.0 50-40
Ipswich 3 pts. Rye House 0 pts.
Witches: R Worrall 11, G Manzares 6+2, M Risager 7+1, C Heeps 5, R Tungate 4+1, A Ellis 11+2, R Hawkins 6+1
Rockets: E Kennett 11, R\R, M Tresarrieu 5+1, J Garrity 11+2, S Boxall 8, L Bowen 5, S Lambert 0