Witches shine bright unlike Diamonds in big Foxhall victory
- Credit: Picture: Steve Waller
Ipswich Witches 60 Newcastle Diamonds 29
Ipswich Witches got their Championship season off to a flying start with a crunching home victory over Newcastle Diamonds at Foxhall Stadium tonight.
This was a commanding performance from a home side who had lost their opening two home meetings of the season. It was much more like it. Normal service resumed.
OK, so Newcastle weren’t the strongest on the night and had riders way below par.
But much of that was caused by the Witches constant early pressure. The home side attacked the track with relish, gating strongly and taking no prisoners. The fans loved it and should be a real confidence builder.
Danny King and Michael Haertel sped from the start in heat one to give an Ipswich team slightly down on confidence just the start they would have been looking for.
The reserves heat was shared with Ashley Morris flying from the outside gate for the visitors.
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It was a battle of the guest riders in heat three with Lewis Kerr, in for Ipswich in place of Nico Covatti, getting the better of Michael Palm-Toft on lap one. Cameron Heeps challenged Palm-Toft for two laps as the Witches took a six-point lead.
Rory Schlein sped from the outside gate in the next with Danyon Hume riding maturely for a 4-2 heat victory and the crowd were on their feet one race later as Heeps and Kerr thrust themselves to the front for another Witches maximum.
King had said before the meeting the team were determined to attack the visitors early on and that is just what they had done. He proved his own point winning heat six as Haertel sped past both Diamonds riders in thrilling fashion.
The Witches already as good as had the meeting in the bag at 26-10 up. Schlein won heat seven.
Heat eight saw the Diamonds pick up their first heat advantage, Morris passing the fast-starting Hume, with Haertel and Wethers passing and repassing at the back.
But normal service was resumed in the next as Heeps and Kerr shot from the start, the Diamonds now looking a sorry side.
King won the next but all the excitement was at the back as first Matthew Wethers slid off, then Haertel did the same two bends later. Both were up ok.
Morris was the only Diamonds rider impressing and Heeps had to go round him on turn two in heat 12 as Hume went round both Diamonds before settling for third.
Schlein and King cruised to a maximum in heat 13 before Kerr, proving an inspired guest won the penultimate race.
The last heat was a cracker with King, Heeps and Morris three abreast going into turn three. The Witches came out ahead as the fans celebrated.
It had been a good night on Heath and after the opening two disappointments, the Witches are up and running.
1 King, Haertel, Morris, Lindgren (r) 58.8 5-1
2 Morris, Hume, Mountain, Wilkinson 59.2 8-4
3 Kerr, Palm-Toft, Heeps, Wethers 58.5 12-6
4 Schlein, Morris, Hume, Rose 58.4 16-8
5 Heeps, Kerr, Lindgren, Wilkinson (r) 58.7 21-9
6 King, Haertel, Rose, Wilkinson 58.8 26-10
7 Schlein, Palm-Toft, Wethers, Mountain 58.9 29-13
8 Morris, Hume, Wethers, Haertel 59.5 31-17
9 Heeps, Kerr, Wilkinson, Rose (r) 57.5 36-18
10 King, Palm-Toft, Wethers (ex), Haertel (ex) no time 39-20
11 Schlein, Wilkinson, Lindgren, Mountain 59.2 42-23
12 Heeps, Morris, Hume, Palm-Toft 58.4 46-25
13 Schlein, King, Lindgren, Wilkinson (r) 57.9 51-26
14 Kerr, Wethers, Mountain, Morris 59.4 55-28
Ipswich 3 pts. Newcastle 0 pts.
Ipswich: D King 14+1, M Haertel 4+2, C Heeps 12+1, L Kerr 10+2, R Schlein 12, C Mountain 2+1, D Hume 6.
Newcastle: L Lindgren 3+1, R/R, M Palm-Toft 6, M Wethers 4+1, L Rose 0, C Wilkinson 4, A Morris 12.