Witches miss out on an Easter double but boss Hawkins says, ‘if we ride like that away from home, we’ll pick up a lot of wins’

Cameron Heeps, switches to No.2 tonight

Cameron Heeps, switches to No.2 tonight - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Peterborough Panthers 46 Ipswich Witches 44

Ipswich Witches just missed out on an Easter double after a narrow two-point defeat at Peterborough this afternoon.

The Suffolk side had thrashed the Panthers at Foxhall on Saturday, but the Panthers got their revenge as No.1 Jack Holder sped away to take victory in the final race of the afternoon.

It was a disappointing result for the visitors, who had very much targeted victory and, although they picked up an away losing bonus point, they wanted more.

“It was a tight clash throughout and of course I’m disappointed we lost, we came here to win,” Witches team boss Ritchie Hawkins said.

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“But if we ride like that this season away from home, we’ll pick up a lot of wins.”

Hawkins was left with the difficult task of choosing two riders for the deciding heat 15, with Cameron Heeps leading the Witches scorecharts. Hawkins went with Danny King and Rory Schlein – neither of whom could get the better of the flying Holder.

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“I have no regrets about picking my two main men,” Hawkins said.

“It’s a massive pressure race, you bang in your two champions in that situation. Cameron rode really well today, but I was right to go with Danny and Rory.”

However, in a meeting the Witches were never ahead, King and Schlein couldn’t get the visitors over the line in front of a large Easter Monday crowd.

The tension of that final race made it a great meeting, especially for the home fans who had watched their side put in a far better performance than the one they put up at Foxhall on Saturday.

Holder was excellent and he was backed up well by guest Lasse Bjerre, Ulrich Ostergaard and Bradley Wilson-Dean, who was again trump at reserve.

But the Witches shouldn’t be too disappointed with this result, especially with Kyle Newman set to come back into the side soon.

“I think we looked good today and we will hopefully have Kyle Newman back in a couple of weeks, that makes us look even stronger,” Hawkins added.

“Our reserves continue to impress me. They are only going to improve as the season goes on.”

The home side took an opening 4-2 lead and were four up after King was left trailing Ostergaard and Bjerre in heat five. Heeps and Nico Covatti reduced the arrears and when King and Schlein got a 4-2 in heat 13, there were only two points in it again. Heeps won heat 14 before Holder won the decider to the delight of the home fans.

The Witches are at Redcar on Thursday night, before entertaing the Bears at Foxhall on Saturday.

Panthers: J Holder 14, S Lambert 5, L Bjerre 8+3, U Ostergaard 10, R/R, B Wilson-Dean 9+3, T Bacon 0.

Witches: D King 10+1, J Sarjeant 0, N Covatti 6+2, C Heeps 11, R Schlein 11, D Hume 2, C Mountain 4+1

1 Holder, King, Lambert, Sarjeant 61.4 4-2

2 Wilson-Dean, Hume, Mountain, Bacon 62.6 7-5

3 Heeps, Ostergaard, Bjerre, Covatti 61.1 10-8

4 Schlein, Bjerre, Mountain, Bacon 61.5 12-12

5 Ostergaard, Bjerre, King, Sarjeant 61.7 17-13

6 Holder, Schlein, Lambert, Hume 61.8 21-15

7 Heeps, Covatti, Ostergaard, Wilson-Dean 62.7 22-20

8 Wilson-Dean, Mountain, Lambert, Sarjeant 63.3 26-22

9 Schlein, Ostergaard, Bjerre, Hume 61.3 29-25

10 Holder, Heeps, Covatti, Lambert 62.8 32-28

11 King, Lambert, Wilson-Dean, Mountain 62.2 35-31

12 Covatti, Bjerre, Wilson-Dean, Hume 62.3 38-34

13 King, Holder, Schlein, Bacon 62.6 40-38

14 Heeps, Ostergaard, Wilson-Dean, Mountain 63.1 43-41

15 Holder, Schlein, King, Bjerre 63.3 46-44

Peterborough 3pts. Ipswich 1pt.

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