Ipswich Witches cruise to Premier League speedway victory over Workington Comets
PUBLISHED: 22:34 21 August 2014 | UPDATED: 22:34 21 August 2014
Â© Copyright Stephen Waller
Ipswich Witches secured their sixth straight Premier League win and eighth success from nine to keep their play-offs charge on track on Thursday.
Ipswich Witches secured their sixth straight Premier League win and eighth success from nine to keep their play-offs charge on track last night.
It was a straightforward evening for the Witches who only suffered a couple of scares when the Comets successfully donned the Tactical Ride helmet. In all, they secured nine race maximums.
Buoyed by Tuesday’s 47-42 win at Peterborough, Ipswich got off to a flying start with a 5-1 in the first heat.
They didn’t have it all their own way however as Josh Grajczonek hurtled round the opening bend on the outside and took the lead. However, he seemed to go into the last bend too aggressively and, having gone wide, allowed Ritchie Hawkins and Richie Worrall, in support, to take control for the remainder of the race.
In-form reserves Adam Ellis and Cameron Heeps continued their prolific points scoring in heat two with the former taking the win, Heeps providing good support.
Gino Manzares was at his gutsy best in heat three, hustling and harrying Rene Bach, who had taken control with Morten Risager, by his own admittance under the weather, seemingly losing power early on.
Manzares, who took a nasty fall at Peterborough, showed no ill-effects, eventually passing Bach on lap three and maintaining his lead until the end. Risager picked up a point in third.
The Witches won the fourth heat at a canter with both Comets struggling, Tungate taking the heat victory and Ellis in second.
Somewhat fortuitously, the Comets’ decision to take the tactical ride in heat five paid off, the visitors grabbing an 8-1 win with Grajzonek taking six points.
With a lap to go, the heat winner was trailing the cruising Manzares, but the American flipped his bike on the last lap and stayed down with what initially looked like a serious injury.
After the race was stopped, the Californian got back to his feet and the race was awarded, one-two to the Comets with Grajzonek on double points.
It was the Comets that got into difficulties in the next race with James Sargeant, who got back up, and Kyle Howarth, who fell into the air fence, struggling.
Howarth was excluded leaving Worrall and Hawkins to race again against Sargeant, and the Witches’ number one made no mistake with his skipper in second.
The Comets’ Ricky Wells duly obliged with a victory in heat eight after being handed the tactical helmet, returning with six points, Hawkins in close pursuit.
After two re-runs, Risager and Manzares brought home a 5-1 for the Witches, before the first 3-3 of the night saw Bach win heat 10.
Witches extended their lead to 18 points in heat 11 after Heeps and Tungate made a blistering start from the gate, the former eventually taking the win, with his fellow Australian in second.
Bach won heat 12 with Risager in second, but more concerning was a fall for Ellis, already flagging behind, on the last lap.
Ellis seemed to be okay as the meet continued, and the Witches grabbed another 5-1 with Tungate winning and Worrall holding off the challenge of Grajczonek.
Manzares and the brilliant Heeps, battling through for second, earned another 5-1 in heat 14 and a 24-point lead, before Grajczonek regained grabbed a heat win which saw the last race tied.
1 Hawkins, Worrall, Wells, Grajczonek 5-1 5-1
2 Ellis, Heeps, Jacobs, Sargeant 5-1 10-2
3 Manzares, Bach, Risager, Campton 4-2 14-4
4 Tungate, Ellis, Jacobs, Howarth 5-1 19-5
5 Grajczonek (TR), Wells, Risager, Manzares (x) 1-8 20-13
6 Worrall, Hawkins, Sargeant, Howarth (x) 5-1 25-14
7 Heeps, Tungate, Bach, Campton 5-1 30-15
8 Wells (TR), Hawkins, Jacobs, Ellis 2-7 32-22
9 Risager, Manzares, Howarth, Sargeant 5-1 37-23
10 Bach, Hawkins, Worrall, Campton 3-3 40-26
11 Heeps, Tungate, Grajczonek, Wells 5-1 45-27
12 Bach, Risager, Jacobs, Ellis 2-4 47-31
13 Tungate, Worrall, Grajczonek, Sargeant 5-1 52-32
14 Manzares, Heeps, Campton, Jacobs 5-1 57-33
15 Gracjzonek, Heeps, Tungate, Bach 3-3 60-36
Ipswich: Worrall 8+2, Hawkins 9+1, Risager 7, Manzares 8+1, Tungate 11+3, Heeps 12+2, Ellis 5+1
Comets: Grajczonek 11, Wells 9+1, Bach 9, Campton 1, Howarth 1, Sargeant 1, Jacobs 4