Ipswich Witches progress to League Cup semi-final after Plymouth Devils win

Rohan Tungate

Rohan Tungate - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Ipswich Witches secured a much-needed win at Plymouth on Friday night, 49-41, to finish top of the Southern section and progress to the semi-final of the League Cup.

Rohan Tungate top-scored with 15 for the Witches who leapfrogged Rye House as a result, while Gino Manzares accrued 11 against the Devils, who were a man down due to Ashley Morris’ absence, and rode three races with only one rider.

Plymouth took an early lead, Kyle Newman edging out Ipswich’s Danny King, after an early battle.

The Witches got back to 6-6 though, Stefan Nielsen leading from the line, guest Rafal Konopka sandwiched in between the leader and Ipswich skipper Ritchie Hawkins.

Heat three ended 3-3 with Jack Holder leading from the off, ahead of Manzares (R/R) and Nico Covatti.

Another tied heat followed with Ryan Fisher gating and getting between Tungate and Hawkins on the first bend. Konopka had earlier been disqualified.

The Witches were given a boost with a 5-1 in heat five, King winning easily and Manzares holding off Morten Risager and Jack Holder. However, Plymouth then took two maximums.

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Ipswich showed guts though and Manzares gated in heat eight to take the victory, Nielsen earning second.

Tungate won heat nine but was well pursued by Risager and Holder as the hosts refused to give in.

The Australian replicated his performance in the next heat, but Covatti had earlier been excluded, the heat ending 3-3.

The Witches took the lead, 35-31 in heat 11, King being supported by Manzares, Fisher falling but getting up for a point, and the visitors extended their lead to six in the next heat, Covatti first and Nielsen third.

Tungate maintained the Witches’ six-point cushion in heat 13, before Ipswich moved into a 46-38 lead in the penultimate heat, Covatti (R/R)winning a second race.

Tungate finished the night in style with another win, Manzares coming in fourth.

1 Newman, King, Simota, Manzares 4-2 4-2

2 Nielsen, Konopka, Hawkins, Morris (dnr) 2-4 6-6

3 Holder, Manzares (R/R), Covatti, Risager 3-3 9-9

4 Fisher, Tungate, Hawkins, Konopka (d/x) 3-3 12-12

5 King, Manzares, Risager, Holder 1-5 13-17

6 Simota, Newman, Tungate, Nielsen 5-1 18-18

7 Fisher, Konopka, Hawkins (R/R), Covatti 5-1 23-19

8 Manzares, Nielsen, Simota, Konopka 1-5 24-24

9 Tungate, Risager, Holder, Nielsen 3-3 27-27

10 Tungate (R/R), Newman, Simota, Covatti 3-3 30-30

11 King, Manzares, Fisher, Morris (dnr) 1-5 31-35

12 Covatti, Risager, Nielsen, Konopka 2-4 33-39

13 Tungate, Fisher, Newman, King 3-3 36-42

14 Covatti (R/R), Holder, Hawkins, Morris 2-4 38-46

15 Tungate, Fisher, Newman, Manzares 3-3 41-49

Plymouth: Newman 8+4, Simota 7, Risager 5, Holder 6+1, Fisher 11, Morris (dnr), Konopka (G) 4+1

Ipswich: King 8, Manzares 9+2, Covatti 7+1, (R/R 6), Tungate 15, Nielsen 6+1, Hawkins 4+1

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