Witches 46 Wolves 44. Sensational finish at Foxhall as Ipswich win
- Credit: Steve Waller -www.stephenwaller.com
Ipswich Witches pulled off a sensational last heat victory to pick up all three points against Wolverhampton at Foxhall Stadium.
The Suffolk side won 46-44 with Jason Doyle and Troy Batchelor gating to a 5-1 maximum in heat 15 to defeat the up to then unbeaten Sam Masters, the Wolves No.1, as the home fans went wild.
It was a super finish to a terrific meeting, with some great racing, the points looking to be going one way, then the next, as the meeting came to the boil.
In the end Doyle proved his class, gating round Masters in the final race after Wolves had got themselves ahead, having been eight down at one stage.
Indeed, the Witches looked to have the meeting in their grasp at the half-way stage but, led by Masters, Wolves got back into it, only to be denied at the death.
For the Witches, this was a big win, coming after defeat last week at Foxhall by Sheffield.
It was a breezy, but warm night at Foxhall and the track looked again in great condition.
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Doyle hit the deck before reaching the first bend in heat one in a race that was re-run with all four riders, with Doyle up okay. In the re-run Masters was the next to bite the dust as he flew into the fence on the outside.
Again, he was up okay and sped to victory in the second re-run, holding off a determined Doyle, as Steve Worrall passed Ben Barker.
The Witches reserves, Paul Starke and Danyon Hume shot from the tapes as the Witches got a 5-1 in heat two to re-take the early lead. And the home side looked set to make it back-to-back 5-1s in the next, but Luke Becker passed Barker on the final lap.
Batchelor held off a charging Nick Morris in heat four as the Witches stretched their lead to six, but Wolves hit straight back with a maximum of their own to close the deficit to two in Ipswich's favour.
Doyle won the next, with Hume a solid third, before Becker passed Batchelor on the final lap of heat seven.
However, the Witches hit straight back, the impressive Hume shepherded round by Batchelor for a 5-1 maximum. Masters was out for a tactical ride with the Wolves eight down. And it worked a treat with Wolves pulling four points back as the Witches now led 29-25.
Doyle won the last race before the interval, as Masters made it four out of four, stalking and passing Batchelor in heat 11. It was boiling up nicely now with the score 34-32 in the Witches favour.
And it was all level one race later with Becker again impressing with victory. The momentum was with the visitors as Masters made it five out of five for him, but the scores stayed level after heat 13.
Ryan Douglas won the penultimate heat, but it was at the back where all the action was, Kemp passing Starke for third with Starke falling on his own awkwardly. Thankfully he got up and walked away but the Wolves were now ahead with one to go.
But Batchelor and Doyle sealed it for the Witches, as the Foxhall faithful rejoiced.
Top Witch: Troy Batchelor: Gated superbly and having been laid off with an injury, he was superb for the Witches.
Ipswich: 1. Jason Doyle (2,3,3,2,3) =13; 2. R/R; 3. Danny King (3,1,1,2) =7; 4. Ben Barker (0,1,0,2) =3; 5. Troy Batchelor (3,2,2*,2,1*,2*) =12+3; 6. Paul Starke (3,1,1*,0,0,f/x) =5+1; 7. Danyon Hume (2*,1,3,0,0) =6+1
Wolves: 1. Sam Masters (3,3,3,3,3,1) =16; 2. Steve Worrall (1,2*,1,1) =5+1; 3. Luke Becker (2,3,1*,3,0) =9+1; 4. Ryan Douglas (0,0,2,3) =5; 5. Nick Morris (2,2,2*,0,) =6+1; 6. Drew Kemp (1,0,1,1) =3; 7. Joe Thompson (0,0,0) =0
1. Masters, Doyle, Worrall, Barker 56.0 2-4
2. Starke, Hume, Kemp, Thompson 57.1 7-5
3. King, Becker, Barker, Douglas 56.2 11-7
4. Batchelor, Morris, Starke, Thompson 55.8 15-9
5. Masters, Worrall, King, Barker 57.3 16-14
6. Doyle, Morris, Hume, Kemp 57.4 20-16
7. Becker, Batchelor, Starke, Douglas 57.3 23-19
8. Hume, Batchelor, Worrall, Thompson 57.4 28-20
9. Masters, Morris, King, Hume 57.3 29-25
10. Doyle, Douglas, Becker, Starke 57.6 32-28
11. Masters, Batchelor, Worrall, Hume 57.9 34-32
12. Becker, King, Kemp, Starke 57.4 36-3
13. Masters, Doyle, Batchelor, Morris 57.2 39-39
14. Douglas, Barker, Kemp, Starke (f/x) no time 41-43
15. Doyle, Batchelor, Masters, Becker 57.2 46-44
Witches 3pts. Wolves 1pt.
Belle Vue 6 11
Sheffield 3 9
Ipswich 4 9
King's Lynn 3 4
Wolves 2 4
Peterborough 3 0