Injury-hit Witches slip to another away defeat, this time at Edinburgh
© Copyright Stephen Waller
Edinburgh Monarchs 51 Ipswich Witches 39
Ipswich Witches again failed to pick up any points on their travels as they lost at Edinburgh Monarchs tonight.
The Suffolk side, crippled by injuries, battled throughout, but never threatened to take victory against a home side who leapfrogged above the Witches in the Championship table.
It leaves Ritchie Hawkins’ side with plenty to do to get into the end-of-season play-offs.
They still have plenty of meetings in hand but after their home defeat to Workington on Thursday, time is running out to begin to pick up points, especially on the road.
The home side, buoyed after a big win at Redcar on Thursday, took the lead from the off when Ricky Wells won the opener. The Witches put in guest Matthew Wethers for the rider replacement ride and he looked as though he may win the heat, before Wells took the lead on the last lap.
The home side went further behind as the Monarchs’ reserves shot from the start to nail a maximum 5-1 in heat two.
Already the Witches had plenty to do, but Nico Covatti and Wethers gated well in heat three, with Josh Pickering getting past Wethers, although it was the Witches who pulled two points back. The Monarchs gated in heat four and after a tight first lap another Witches guest Richie Worrall got into second place. David Wallinger failed to get off the start line for the visitors.
The Witches brought Covatti in as a tactical rider in the next and he and Rory Schlein gated to the front.
But Mark Riss passed Covatti on lap one, before the Ipswich man chased hard to the end. Ipswich had got their second heat advantage of the night though and were now four points down.
Wells won the next in a shared heat six and Erik Riss was quickly away to win the next.
The Witches were dealt a big blow in heat eight as Covatti and Mountain, who had both been brought into the heat as rider replacement and replacing Wallinger respectively, were on the receiving end of a 5-1.
It put the Witches eight down as the teams shared heat nine.
It was 10 down a heat later after Covatti missed the two minutes, but was then disqualified for cutting across the centre green, Wethers again splitting the home pairing.
Schlein and Erik Riss enjoyed a cracking heat 11 with the Monarchs man getting the win as the home side closed in on victory.
Covatti won his second race of the night as the Witches continued to battle. But the meeting was over when the Monarchs hammered home a heat 13 5-1.
Guest Wethers won heat 14 well and Covatti finished a good night for him personally with a third heat win.
1 Wells, Wethers, Palovaara, Schlein 57.3 4-2
2 Andersson, Ruml, Mountain, Wallinger 57.0 9-3
3 Covatti, Pickering, Wethers, M Riss 56.6 11-7
4 E Riss, Worrall, Andersson, Wallinger (ef) 56.5 15-9
5 Schlein, M Riss, Covatti*, Pickering 57.4 17-13
6 Wells, Mountain, Worrall, Palovaara 57.7 20-16
7 E Riss, Covatti, Wethers, Ruml 56.8 23-19
8 Palovaara, Andersson, Covatti, Mountain 57.6 28-20
9 M Riss, Worrall, Mountain, Pickering 57.0 31-23
10 Wells, Wethers, Palovaara, Covatti (ex) 57.6 35-25
11 E Riss, Schlein, Andersson, Wallinger (Ruml ex) 56.5 39-27
12 Covatti, M Riss, Andersson, Mountain 57.6 42-30
13 E Riss, Wells, Schlein, Worrall 56.2 47-31
14 Wethers, Pickering, Mountain, Ruml 58.1 49-35
15 Covatti, Wells, Schlein, E Riss 56.8 51-39
Edinburgh 3 pts. Ipswich 0 pts.
Edinburgh: R Wells 13+1, V Palovaara 5, M Riss 7, J Pickering 4, E Riss 12, M Ruml 2+1, J Andersson 8+1
Ipswich: R Schlein 7, R/R, N Covatti 13, M Wethers 9+1, R Worrall 5+1, C Mountain 5+1, D Wallinger 0.