Super Witches dig deep to fend off the Monarchs and win at Foxhall
© Copyright Stephen Waller
Ipswich Witches 53 Edinburgh Monarchs 37
They made hard work of it.
But Ipswich Witches kept their good start to the Championship campaign going with a hard-fought win over Edinburgh Monarchs at Foxhall tonight.
The Suffolk side were far from impressive, especially early on, and they had to cope with skipper Danny King pulling out of the meeting after just two races with a reoccurrence of his arm injury.
But they showed huge character to come through, Nico Covatti flying to his best score of the season.
This was a really tough gig for the home side.
King is clearly struggling with his injury and both reserves Danyon Hume and Connor Mountain looked uncertain early on.
But, just like the rest of their team-mates, Hume and Mountain came through in style, showing real character.
Led by Covatti who had five wins in a brilliant paid 18 point haul, Ipswich ended with three 5-1s on the bounce to send Edinburgh home pointless.
The Witches looked as though they were set to make a dream start as Rory Schlein and Mountain streaked from the tapes. But Mountain was passed by both Monarchs in a drawn first heat.
Edinburgh took the lead in heat two with Coty Garcia and Max Ruml roaring from the tapes. But the Witches weren’t behind for long as Cameron Heeps and Covatti gated to the front with the Edinburgh riders this time struggling at the back.
Edinburgh guest Mason Campton shot from the start in the next in a drawn heat four.
Covatti and Heeps had their gating boots on and although Ricky Wells passed Heeps on lap two, the American then fell on lap three. Campton was at it again fending off Schlein in heat six and the Witches were only two points ahead.
It was all level in the next as Mark Riss went round the outside of King on the first lap of heat seven.
Joel Andersson crashed on turn one of heat eight. He was excluded much to his fury.
The Witches took full advantage, Hume bravely hanging on to second as Ruml pressed. Covatti won again.
But Covatti went from hero to zero one race later as he picked up drive and wiped out poor Garcia who knew nothing about it on turn four, lap one. Covatti was excluded and Garcia was up ok. Campton won the re-run.
The Witches got lucky in the next as Riss packed up while leading.
It gave the Witches a bit of breathing space, but they were not impressing. King was ruled out of the meeting as Covatti won again, taking King’s ride in heat 11.
Pickering pipped Heeps in a thrilling end to heat 12 before Heeps and Schlein gated to a brilliant 5-1 in heat 13.
The Witches were almost there and they clinched it in the next with Mountain riding superbly to pip Garcia on the line as the Foxhall faithful went potty!
1 Schlein, Andersson, Wells, Mountain 56.2 3-3
2 Garcia, Ruml, Mountain, Hume 58.1 4-8
3 Heeps, Covatti, Riss, Pickering 58.4 9-9
4 Campton, King, Hume, Ruml 58.5 12-12
5 Covatti, Heeps, Andersson, Wells (f) 58.8 17-13
6 Campton, Schlein, Garcia, Hume 58.8 19-17
7 Riss, King, Pickering, Mountain 58.5 21-21
8 Covatti, Hume, Ruml, Andersson (f/x) 59.5 26-22
9 Campton, Heeps, Garcia, Covatti (ex) 59.5 28-26
10 Schlein, Pickering, Hume, Riss (e/f) 58.5 32-28
11 Covatti, Wells, Mountain, Andersson 58.4 36-30
12 Campton*, Hume, Pickering, Heeps 58.8 38-34
13 Heeps, Schlein, Campton, Wells 58.6 43-35
14 Covatti, Mountain, Garcia, Riss 58.9 48-36
15 Covatti, Schlein, Pickering, Garcia 58.9 53-37
Ipswich 3 pts. Edinburgh 0 pts.
Ipswich: R Schlein 12+2, R/R, C Heeps 10+1, N Covatti 17+1, D King 4, C Mountain 4+1, D Hume 6+2
Edinburgh: R Wells 3+1, J Andersson 3, J Pickering 5, M Riss 4, M Campton 13, C Garcia 6, M Ruml 3+1.