Witches crash out after dramatic night of speedway

Ben Barker rears ahead of Benjamin Basso and Danyon Hume in heat eight.

Ben Barker rears ahead of Benjamin Basso and Danyon Hume in heat eight. - Credit: Steve Waller -www.stephenwaller.com

Ipswich Witches crashed to a 50-39 defeat at Peterborough after a dramatic night of speedway on Monday night.

A series of crashes and falls, mainly to the home riders, gifted the Witches early points, but they could not take advantage of it and themselves lost Ben Barker with an arm injury after a heat eight crash.

It was a disappointing night for the visitors who had too many last places and relied on Jason Doyle, Troy Batchelor and to a degree Danny King.

The home side were deserved winners and Ipswich were left to lick their wounds after a poor showing from some of their team who will be disappointed with their contributions.

The Panthers make the return journey to Foxhall on Thursday where nothing less than three points will be good enough for the Suffolk side if they are to maintain their solid Premiership push..

Benjamin Basso slams into a fallen Ben Barker in heat eight.

Benjamin Basso slams into a fallen Ben Barker in heat eight. - Credit: Steve Waller -www.stephenwaller.com

It was a warm evening at the big Alwalton bowl and Ipswich welcomed back Paul Starke in their line-up and were back to full strength.

Doyle flew from the outside to lead all the way in heat one. Starke passed Michael Palm-Toft for third, but the Panthers man got him back a lap later in a drawn opener.

Peterboroughs Chris Harris lining up Troy Batchelor in heat four

Peterborough's Chris Harris lining up Troy Batchelor in heat four - Credit: Steve Waller -www.stephenwaller.com

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Jordan Palin rode a fine ride to pass Barker to win heat two as the home side took an early lead.

Scott Nicholls took the lead in race four, but made a mistake and King nipped through. But on turn four, third lap, Nicholls clipped his partner Hans Andersen and hurtled into the fence. It was a horrible-looking crash, but Nicholls got up and hobbled away.

Jason Doyle and Hans Andersen pictured after heat five.

Jason Doyle and Hans Andersen pictured after heat five. - Credit: Steve Waller -www.stephenwaller.com

Chris Harris passed Batchelor in a thrilling heat four as the Panthers increased their lead to13-10. Doyle won again in the next before Palm-Toft crashed spectacularly down the back straight as he led.

Fortunately, all the other riders missed him as Ipswich gained maximum points in the re-run. The Witches now led 18-17, but Panthers looked like getting back in front as Harris and Basso led. But on the third lap Basso hit Harris as both Panthers fell. He was excluded and a 5-1 to the home side ended a 3-3.

Troy Batchelor and Ben Barker cross the line for a maximum in heat six

Troy Batchelor and Ben Barker cross the line for a maximum in heat six - Credit: Steve Waller -www.stephenwaller.com

Barker was the next to hit the deck as he tried to go up inside of Hume, but he hit his team-mate and was taken away in an ambulance holding his wrist. It was huge blow for the Witches and Barker was out of the meeting.

Basso won the re-run, as Hume split the Panthers.

HOW THE DRAMA UNFOLDED

Batchelor rode a super ride to pass Andersen in heat 9 before the home side took a 5-1 in the next to secure a five-point lead. Doyle was excluded in the next after he left Basso no room down the back straight, the home man falling.

With Doyle out Panthers stretched their lead to nine, only for the Witches to hit straight back with tactical rider Doyle and King gaining a maximum.

Bikes being warmed up on the visitors side of the pits.

Bikes being warmed up on the visitors side of the pits. - Credit: Steve Waller -www.stephenwaller.com

Harris made it four out of four lowering Doyle's colours as the Panthers closed in on victory and they sealed it in heat 14.

There was still time for the race of the night as Harris and Andersen led Doyle, who flew round the outside of both of them to lower Harris' colours for the first time on the night. 


Top Witch: Jason Doyle: Led from the front but had too many team-mates off form.

Peterborough: Michael Palm Toft (1*,f/x,3,1)= 5+1; Ulrich Ostergaard (2,1,ex/t,2*) 5+1; Hans Andersen (2,2,2,1,1*) =8+1;  Scott Nicholls, (f/x,1*,1*,2*) 4+3; Chris Harris (3,3,3,3,2) =14; Benjamin Basso (1,f/x,3,2*,3) =9+1;  Jordan Palin (3,1,1,0) 5.

Ipswich: Jason Doyle (3,3,Ex,3,2,3) =14; Paul Starke (0,0,1) =1; Danny King (3,2,1,2*,0) =8+1;  Erik Riss (e/f,1*,0,0) 1+1; Troy Batchelor (2,3,3,0) =8;  Ben Barker (2,2*,f/x)= 4+1; Danyon Hume (0,0,2,0,1) =3.

*bonus point

Heat details

1. Doyle, Ostergaard, Palm-Toft, Starke 60.3 3-3

2. Palin, Barker, Basso, Hume 59.9 7-5

3. King, Andersen, Nicholls (f/x), Riss (e/f) no time 9-8

4. Harris, Batchelor, Palin, Hume 59.8 13-10

5. Doyle, Andersen, Nicholls, Starke 58.5 16-13

6. Batchelor, Barker, Ostergaard, Palm-Toft (f/x) 58.8 17-18

7. Harris, King, Riss, Basso (f/x) no time 20-21

8. Basso, Hume, Palin, Barker (f/x) 60.2 24-23

9. Batchelor, Andersen, Nicholls, Hume 60.0 27-26

10. Palm-Toft, Ostergaard, King, Riss 60.1 32-27

11. Harris, Basso, Starke, Doyle (ex) 60.1 37-28

12 Doyle (tac), King, Andersen, Palin 60.2 38-33

13 Harris, Doyle, Palm-Toft, Batchelor 60.2 42-35

14. Basso, Nicholls, Hume, Riss 60. 47-36

15. Doyle, Harris, Andersen, King 60.2 50-39

Panthers 3pts. Witches 0.

Premiership

                           P     Pts.

Belle Vue          9      17

Ipswich             8     16

Wolves              8      15

Sheffield           6      13

King's Lynn       6         8

Peterborough   7        6