Witches looking good but then suffer mid-meeting collapse as they lose at Edinburgh. But boss Louis heaps praise on Gino Manzares and Richie Worrall who both ride well

Richie Worrall

Richie Worrall - Credit: Picture: Stephen Waller

Ipswich Witches suffered a mid-meeting collapse from which they never recovered as they lost 56-36 at Edinburgh Friday night in the Premier League.

The Suffolk side had made a promising start, with Richie Worrall and Gino Manzares recording two 5-1 maximums in the first five races.

Coupled with a win for Cameron Heeps in heat three the Witches were leading a side who had yet to be beaten, home or away, this year.

However, a succession of 5-1 maximums against the Suffolk side from heats six to 10 put paid to any hopes of victory and in the end Edinburgh ran out comfortable victors.

Witches team boss Chris Louis said: “We started well enough and didn’t finish badly, but you can’t concede 5-1 maximums on the trot as we did.

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“Gino (Manzares) is beating himself up, but he did well and I thought Richie Worrall was getting back to his best on Thursday and he was excellent tonight.

“He gave Craig Cook some great races all night.”

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The Suffolk side got off to a dream start as Richie Worrall and Manzares gated to victory over home star Craig Cook, who is rarely beaten around his home circuit.

But that good start didn’t last and soon it was all square as the Monarchs returned the favour to the Suffolk side.

Derek Sneddon was away well for the visitors in heat three, but Heeps, continued his good form from Thursday night at Foxhall and nipped through for victory.

With Morten Risager in third, the Witches sneaked back into the lead.

Rohan Tungate and Witches skipper Ritchie Hawkins were left at the back in the next before this incredible topsy-turvey start to the meeting went the visitors way again.

Worrall was again away from the start and Manzares pipped Max Fricke coming out of the second bend on lap two to join his partner at the front.

The Witches were back in the lead again at 16-14 and had made a solid start to the meeting.

However, from that point on, the Witches simply fell apart.

A succession of 5-1 maximums to the home team started in heat seven, with Tungate passed by Justin Sedgmen and things never recovered for Chris Louis’ side.

Tungate was used as a tactical ride in heat nine but couldn’t stop the onslaught.

Heat 11 saw only Richie Worrall survive a tough first turn that saw Edinburgh’s young American star Aaron Fox taken off in an ambulance. With Richie Worrall on a tactical ride, the Witches pulled two points back to at last stem the flow of 5-1 maximums. But the damage had been done.

Louis will be disappointed that two of his riders failed to beat an opponent, while captain Ritchie Hawkins also had a poor evening.

On Saturday night the Witches race at Berwick in another Premier League fixture.

Heat details

1 R Worrall, Manzares, Cook, Sedgmen (55.1) 1-5

2 Fox, S Worrall, Ellis, Hawkins (57.1) 6-6

3 Heeps, Fricke, Risager, Sneddon (56.2) 8-10

4 S Worrall, Masters, Tungate, Hawkins (56.7) 13-11

5 R Worrall, Manzares, Fricke, Sneddon (56.1) 14-16

6 Cook, Sedgmen, Tungate, Ellis (56.4) 19-17

7 Masters, Fox, Risager, Heeps (57.3) 24-18

8 Sedgmen, S Worrall, Manzares, Hawkins (56.6) 29-19

9 Fricke, Sneddon, Tungate*, Ellis (57.0) 34-20

10 Cook, Sedgmen, Heeps, Risager (55.9) 39-21

11 Masters, R Worrall*, Manzares, S Worrall (56.1) 42-26

12 Risager, Fricke, S Worrall, Ellis (57.7) 45-29

13 Cook, R Worrall, Masters, Tungate (55.8) 49-31

14 S Worrall, Heeps, Hawkins, Sneddon (F/x) (57.7) 52-34

15 Cook, R Worrall, Masters, Manzares (57.3) 56-36


Edinburgh: C Cook 13, J Sedgmen 7+2, M Fricke 7+1, D Sneddon 3, S Masters 10+1, A Fox 5+1, S Worrall 11+3.

Ipswich: R Worrall 14, G Manzares 6+3, M Risager 5, C Heeps 6, R Tungate 3, A Ellis 1, R Hawkins 1+1

*tac ride, points count double

Edinburgh 3 pts. Ipswich 0pts

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