Ipswich Witches lose at Somerset Rebels
PUBLISHED: 10:48 23 August 2014 | UPDATED: 10:48 23 August 2014
© Copyright Stephen Waller
Ipswich Witches suffered a 59-31 defeat at Somerset Rebels in the Premier League last night, their first defeat since June 22.
Both teams had inflicted 40-point home cup defeats on the other this season and Somerset were prolific on their own track again.
The Rebels earned a first heat 5-1. After two re-runs, Charles Wright kept a tight leash on Ritchie Hawkins on the inside and allowed Nick Morris to come through and win.
The Witches’ poor start continued in heat two. Cameron Heeps took the lead from the gate but was unable to stay in front, allowing Paul Starke and Todd Kurtz to claim another 5-1.
Things went from bad to worse in heat three with Brady Kurtz gaining the second-fastest time of the season at Somerset, in a third straight 5-1.
Heat four brought some respite with the Witches tying their first heat of the night, Rohan Tungate finishing second and Ben Hopwood – guesting for Adam Ellis – in third.
Richie Worrall took a tactical ride for Ipswich in heat five but it was to no avail. In third place, behind Ritchie Hawkins, Worrall was overtaken by Pontus Aspgren who ensured a 4-2 for the hosts.
Wright and Morris cruised to a fourth Rebels’ maximum in heat six before Olly Allen was excluded in the next race for a fall. That allowed Gino Manzares and heat winner Morten Risager to take a 5-1. Allen later withdrew from the meeting.
Hawkins then took a tactical ride, with Heeps replacing Hopwood, but he failed to stop a Somerset one-two.
Brady Kurtz and Aspgren kept the Rebels scoring with a maximum, before the Witches made gate in heat 10, only for Wright to pass both Manzares and Risager for the win.
Worrall earned his first win of the night in heat 11 but Ipswich could only tie the heat and the Rebels cruised to another 5-1 in heat 12.
Ipswich secured a 3-3 in heat 13, Todd Kurtz’s engine giving up, before Aspgren took heat 14.
Worrall was awarded the final race of the night after a long battle with Brady Kurtz who fell on lap three.
1 Morris, Wright, Hawkins, Worrall 5-1 5-1
2 Starke, T Kurtz, Heeps, Hopwood 5-1 10-2
3 B Kurtz, Aspgren, Risager, Manzares 5-1 15-3
4 Allen, Tungate, Hopwood, Starke (R) 3-3 18-6
5 B Kurtz, Hawkins, Aspgren, Worrall (TR) 4-2 22-8
6 Wright, Morris, Tungate, Hopwood 5-1 27-9
7 Risager, Manzares, T Kurtz, Allen (X) 1-5 28-14
8 Starke, Wright, Hawkins (TR), Heeps 5-1 33-15
9 B Kurtz, Aspgren, Tungate, Heeps 5-1 38-16
10 Wright, Manzares, Morris, Risager 4-2 42-18
11 Worrall, T Kurtz, Starke, Hawkins 3-3 45-21
12 B Kurtz, Starke, Heeps, Risager 5-1 50-22
13 Morris, Worrall, Tungate, T Kurtz (R) 3-3 53-25
14 Aspgren, Manzares, Starke, Heeps 4-2 57-27
15 Worrall, Morris, Manzares, B Kurtz 2-4 59-31
Somerset: Morris 11+1, Wright 10+2, B Kurtz 12, Aspgren 8+2, Allen 3 (W), T Kurtz 5+1, Starke 10+2
Witches: Worrall 8, Hawkins 4, Risager 4, Manzares 7+1, Tungate 5+1, Heeps 2, Hopwood 1+1