Witches keep their play-off hopes right on track

Chris Louis and Witches skipper Danny King

Chris Louis and Witches skipper Danny King - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Ipswich ‘Sackers’ Witches gave their play-off hopes a huge boost with a fine 47-43 victory at Scunthorpe on Friday night.

On a night full of controversy (see back page), the Witches kept their cool to grab the points in a last-heat decider.

Danny King was the man who kept his nerve, with Rohan Tungate, grabbing third in a heat 15 that saw the Witches home.

And with fellow play-off contenders Sheffield and Workington both losing the same night, it helped cement the Witches play-off hopes.

“I don’t worry about Somerset, Peterborough or Edinburgh now,” Witches director of speedway Chris Louis said. “Those three are as good as in the play-offs, but we are not yet. There is a right battle for the last three positions, but this was a great result for us.”

King fell on the second bend of heat one as the Scorpions got off to a flying start with a 5-1. But Stefan Nielsen stepped up to the plate, winning the reserves race and then heat three as a replacement ride for the injured Gino Manzares.

Nico Covatti won the next with Ashley Morris passing Nike Lunna in heat four and King and Cameron Heeps gating to a maximum in the next.

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Auty, back after a nine-week lay-off, rode a blinder of a ride to pass both Witches in the next and Tungate repeated the feat, this time for the Witches.

It was all level with three heats to go and King kept it that way with a win in heat 13.

But Tungate, despite all the distractions of the night, won heat 14, and when King and Tungate gained another 4-2 in the final race it was all over for the home side.

1 Davies, Auty, Heeps, King (f/x) 59.5 5-1

2 Nielsen, Wilson, Lunna, Morris 59.8 8-4

3 Nielsen, Pijper, Tungate, Wilkinson (f) no time 10-8

4 Covatti, Douglas, Morris, Lunna 58.6 12-12

5 King, Heeps, Wilkinson, Pijper 57.4 13-17

6 Auty, Nielsen, Covatti, Davies 59.0 16-20

7 Tungate, Douglas, Wilson, Nielsen 58.6 19-23

8 Davies, Heeps, Lunna, Morris 58.4 23-25

9 Covatti, Pijper, Morris, Wilkinson 58.6 25-29

10 Auty, Davies, Tungate, Nielsen 58.0 30-30

11 Douglas, Heeps, King, Wilson 58.4 33-33

12 Pijper, Heeps, Nielsen, Lunna 58.8 36-36

13 King, Douglas, Lunna, Covatti 57.0 39-39

14 Tungate, Lunna, Morris, Wilkinson 59.1 41-43

15 King, Douglas, Tungate, Davies 57.8 43-47

Scunthorpe 0 pts. Ipswich 3 pts.

Scunthorpe: J Auty 8+1, A Davies 8+1, T Pijper 8, R Douglas 11, C Wilkinson 1, B Wilson 3+1, N Lunna 5+2.

Ipswich: D King 10+1, C Heeps 9+1, R/R, R Tungate 9, N Covatti 7+1, S Nielsen 9+1, A Morris 3

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