Witches win again! Ipswich beat their Norfolk rivals – Hawkins delighted
- Credit: Picture: Steve Waller
Ipswich Witches 49 King’s Lynn Stars 41
Ipswich Witches kept their unbeaten home record in tact with another gritty performance at Foxhall Stadium.
Pushed all the way by King's Lynn Stars the Witches came through once more to keep their momentum going. They are one point off the top of the Premiership, with two meetings in hand.
After the classic in Norfolk on Monday night that ended in a draw, this threatened to do the same with the Stars refusing to let their hosts get away.
In a nip and tuck encounter with never more than four points between the two sides, it took a heat 14 maximum from Cameron Heeps and Krystian Pieszczek to seal the points for the home side.
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It was no more than the Witches deserved.
Although not at their best Ritchie Hawkins' side only had three last places all night and it was that consistency that eventually broke the Stars' back.
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Again reserve Heeps was in imperious form.
His contribution to the team so far this season cannot be understated and all his team-mates around him rose to the occasion at the right time.
Hawkins said: "They all stepped up to the plate and heat 14 was vital.
"At the interval it was so tight and you knew they could come on strong at the end, but our performance stepped up when we needed to.
"To win the meeting by eight with only six race winners shows how solid we are throughout."
Robert Lambert flew from the outside to lead all the way in heat one and Lewis Kerr was the next Stars man to hit the front to win, in heat two, in another drawn race.
The Witches took the lead in the next, Pieszczek and Chris Harris too good on the first and second turn for the Stars duo.
Craig Cook looked to have made a great start from the outside, but Heeps off the inside flew into the first turn with force to push Cook wide. For half a straight Danny King was in second but Cook had the run to pass.
The Stars were still sharp out of the tapes and Robert Lambert and Michael Palm-Toft were too good for Pieszczek and Harris as Ipswich's lead was reduced to just two.
Lawson and Cook had a great scrap in the next, with the Ipswich man coming out on top and Foxhall debut-making Edward Kennett picking up a valuable point, to add to his opening heat second place.
Thomas Jorgensen and King flew down the back straight and into the third bend neck and neck with the Stars man coming out ahead.
Kerr is always good from the start and he held off fast-charging Heeps with ease in the end as Lynn pulled two points back, the home side just not being able to put a stamp on the meeting.
Cook won the next before all four riders hit the first turn in heat 10, with Kerr again coming out ahead.
There were just two points in it at the interval and the Witches were making hard work of seeing off the basement club.
King flew from the start in heat 11 and Witches guest Kyle Howarth napped a vital third.
Kerr won his fourth race of the night to keep the Stars well in it and they Stars gated on a 5-1 in heat 13, but Lawson nipped up the inside of the Stars No.1.
The Witches sealed the deal in heat 14, with Heeps gating and Pieszczek flying past Jorgensen for a match-winning 5-1. And they made sure the Stars went home pointless, with Lawson winning the last race and Cook passing Heeps, but it was still the Witches who took all three points.
Ipswich: R Lawson 11+1, E Kennett 3, C Harris 7+1 K Pieszczek 6+2, D King 6, K Howarth 3+2, C Heeps 13+2
King's Lynn: R Lambert 9 M Palm Toft 3+1, T Proctor 0, T Jorgensen 5, C Cook 12, L Kerr 12, S Lambert 0.
1 R Lambert, Kennett, Lawson, Palm-Toft 56.6 3-3
2 Kerr, Heeps, Howarth, S Lambert 56.8 6-6
3 Pieszczek, Harris, Jorgensen, Proctor 58.1 11-7
4 Heeps, Cook, King, S Lambert 56.5 15-9
5 R Lambert, Palm-Toft, Harris, Pieszczek 56.2 16-14
6 Lawson, Cook, Kennett, Kerr 57.0 20-16
7 Jorgensen, King, Howarth, Proctor 56.5 23-19
8 Kerr, Heeps, Palm Toft, Kennett 56.6 25-23
9 Cook, Harris, Pieszczek, S Lambert 56.5 28-26
10 Kerr, Lawson, Heeps, Jorgensen 56.8 31-29
11 King, R Lambert, Howarth, Palm Toft 56.6 35-31
12 Kerr, Harris, Heeps, Proctor 57.0 38-34
13 Cook, Lawson, R Lambert, King 56.5 40-38
14 Heeps, Pieszczek, Jorgensen, Kerr 57.2 45-39
15 Lawson, Cook, Heeps, R Lambert 56.8 49-41
Ipswich 3 pts. King's Lynn 0 pts.
Belle Vue 11 23
Ipswich 9 22
Peterborough 11 17
Poole 8 15
Swindon 8 11
Wolves 8 10
King's Lynn 9 7