Stunning Ipswich Witches draw first blood in local derby with big win over King’s Lynn
- Credit: Picture: Steve Waller
Ipswich Witches 59 King’s Lynn Stars 31
Ipswich Witches produced a storming performance on derby night to see off King’s Lynn Stars with an emphatic victory at Foxhall Heath.
Much had been billed about this fixture – the first competitive clash between the two rivals since 2002.
And the home side didn’t disappoint with a tremendous effort from the get-go. Never letting their visitors settle and thoroughly deserving of their victory.
Every Witch contributed, with Cameron Heeps racing to a paid maximum from his four rides. The young Aussie quite brilliant
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New Polish rider Krystian Pieszczek won two heats, Ipswich simply had no weak links, while Chris Harris produced some of the best passing you are likely to see at any speedway track in the country.
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OK, Lynn were a bit rusty and in their No.1 Robert Lambert had someone who was very off-colour for him.
But that mattered not, the Witches were on it all night. An encouraging performance all round.
“I couldn’t have asked for more and the boys did the club proud,” said team boss Ritchie Hawkins.
“Everything we have been saying about what we expect at this club, they showed tonight. They all know they can do it now and that has set the tone. Realistically we are not going to be as good as that every week, but it does not mean that the effort, determination and will to win has to be any different. We have set the tone in that sense.”
“It was a local derby and our boys understood what it meant to the supporters and what it meant to the management. Most of them were making their competitive debuts and I think they were brilliant and that is how we need to carry that on all season.”
Lambert hit the deck in a tough first bend in heat one. He was excluded as the Witches took an early lead with David Bellego winning heat one.
Heeps and Jake Allen were away like rockets in the reserves race as the home side took a six-point lead and had started the meeting strongly.
However, the Stars hit back immediately with Lewis Kerr gating to the front and Thomas Jorgensen passing Richard Lawson on turn four of lap one.
Heeps was looking so sharp and he flew from the tapes again in heat four, with his skipper Danny King alongside. The Witches were back in the lead again by six.
Pieszczek rode a brave heat five to pass Erik Riss down the back straight, with Lambert passing Lawson in an exciting heat.
The Suffolk side looked set for another maximum in heat six as Chris Harris split the Lynn pairing down the back straight to join Bellego at the front. But Bellego shed a bolt as his bike slowed up and Ty Proctor nicked second on the line.
Kerr fell when leading the next, but cleared the track as Heeps and King nailed another maximum home.
Harris moved both Lynn riders out of the way in the next as Bellego sailed through and the Witches were in total command.
Riss won again as Lambert continued to surprisingly struggle for the Stars.
Harris produced a stonking last-bend pass on Proctor to join Pieszczek at the front in heat 12 and finished the night with a burst through the middle of both Riss and Kerr in heat 15 as the Foxhall fans delighted in it all.
The Witches had drawn first blood in this season’s East Anglian derby clash.
Ipswich: C Harris 12+1, D Bellego 6+1, D King 10+4, K Pieszczek 7, R Lawson 7, C Heeps 11+1, J Allen 6+1
King’s Lynn: R Lambert 2+1, E Riss 12, T Proctor 5, L Kerr 4+1, T Jorgensen 4+1, M Palm Toft 3, K Andersen 1
1 Bellego, Riss, Harris, Lambert (fx) 56.5 4-2
2 Heeps, Allen, Palm-Toft, Andersen 57.2 9-3
3 Kerr, Jorgensen, Lawson, Pieszczek 56.5 10-8
4 Heeps, King, Proctor, Andersen 57.2 15-9
5 Pieszczek, Riss, Lambert, Lawson 57.2 18-12
6 Harris, Proctor, Bellego, Palm-Toft 56.9 27-15
7 Heeps, King, Jorgensen, Kerr (f) 56.9 27-15
8 Riss, Allen, Andersen, Bellego 57.3 29-19
9 Lawson, Palm-Toft, Pieszczek, Proctor (15m) 57.0 33-21
10 Harris, Bellego, Jorgensen, Kerr 57.9 38-22
11 Riss, Allen, King, Lambert 57.3 41-25
12 Pieszczek, Harris, Proctor, Jorgensen 57.5 46-26
13 Lawson, King, Lambert, Kerr 57.4 51-27
14 King, Heeps, Proctor, Lambert 58.0 56-28
15 Harris, Riss, Kerr, Bellego 58.0 59-31
Ipswich 3 pts. Lynn 0 pts.