Witches lose their fourth play-off clash at Edinburgh

Edinburgh 53 Ipswich 37

Ipswich ‘Sackers’ Witches ended their 2013 team campaign with a rather predictable 53-37 defeat at Edinburgh Monarchs on Friday night.

The Scottish side only had to beat the Witches to advance to the play-off final. And they did so relatively comfortably against a Witches side that only had two regular members of the team racing for them – Cameron Heeps and Morten Risager.

Four other riders were guests, while Ipswich also used rider replacement.

And it was reserve guest Steve Worrall who did much to ensure the Witches put up a reasonable show at Armadale.

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He raced to three wins from the number six berth and top-scored with a very creditable 12 points.

Morten Risager was another who battled hard throughout and had the honour of lowering home star Craig Cook’s colours in an exciting heat 13.

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Indeed if the Witches had started as they finished, they may have pushed the Monarchs much closer than the final score suggests. Edinburgh gated to two 5-1 maximums in the first three races, with only Worrall managing to halt their early onslaught when he won heat two.

Risager rounded Derek Sneddon in heat four as he made a good start to the meeting, but Heeps could do nothing in the next, despite being on a tactical ride.

Indeed for captain of the night, Heeps it was a quiet meeting by his high standards.

Cook and his young Australian partner Max Fricke put the home side in command with a maximum in heat six, but two of Ipswich’s guests, Matthew Wethers and Nicolai Klindt gated to a 5-1 maximum of their own in the next.

Worrall was out on a tactical ride in heat eight, replacing Ryan MacDonald. But rules don’t allow riders who are replaced to take tactical rides and Worrall had to be content with three points for the win and not six.

The Witches were now 12 points down at 30-18 and Risager’s tactical ride came to nothing when he was passed by Claus Vissing.

The Witches never gave up and finished well, with Risager beating Cook and then Worrall and Klindt netting a 5-1 maximum in heat 14.

Edinburgh: C Cook 14, M Fricke 7+2, C Vissing 6+2, J Tabaka 11, T Pijper 7, L Carr 1+1, D Sneddon 7.

Ipswich: M Wethers 8+1, C Heeps 3, N Klindt 4+2, R\R, M Risager 10, S Worrall 12, R MacDonald 0

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