Witches v Bandits: MEETING ABANDONED after six heats

PUBLISHED: 20:47 06 September 2018 | UPDATED: 20:54 06 September 2018

Riders turn round as the referee Christina Turnbull calls a halt ahead of heat seven.    Picture: Steve Waller

Riders turn round as the referee Christina Turnbull calls a halt ahead of heat seven. Picture: Steve Waller

© Copyright Stephen Waller

Ipswich Witches 16 Berwick Bandits 20
Meeting abandoned after six heats, rain.

Ipswich Witches’ clash with Berwick Bandits was called off after six heats at Foxhall Stadium tonight.

The two teams had been fighting against the weather from the word go and although the rain was just drizzly early on, after heat six, it became torrential.

There was no other decision to be made as the track became saturated.

At the time Berwick were leading 16-20 in a meeting that had enjoyed one or two interesting races considering the conditions.

It leaves both teams still clinging to the slim hopes of picking up a play-off top four place.

But with other teams around them having more meetings in hand than both the Bandits and Witches, it looks unlikely either will qualify.

Last night’s meeting will take place later in the season.

It was a tight first turn in heat one and Cameron Heeps was the one who lost out as the Berwick pairing of Aaron Summers and Kevin Doolan filled in the minor positions behind Witches guest Richard Lawson.

The track rode smoothly as the drizzle kept coming down.

Drew Kemp flew from the outside in style to win the next in another shared heat. Gating was going to be crucial and that was by far the best gate Kemp had put together at Foxhall in this his third Foxhall appearance.

Jye Etheridge hit the tapes in the next and was replaced by Theo Pijper, but it was David Howe who was the next to fly from the outside gate.

Pijper passed Mark Riss as the Bandits took an early two-point lead.

Lawson and Kemp shot to the front in heat four, but Nikolaj Jakobsen roared passed Kemp as Pijper closed in too.

But Kemp would not be beaten and held Pijper off in a thrilling run-in to the line as the scores levelled.

The rain was coming down heavier now as the Bandits sped off to lead in heat five. Nico Covatti shot after them, but slipped off on turn one of lap two. The race was awarded

Despite the awful conditions the riders were still going for it. Berwick certainly weren’t fazed by it and Jakobsen provided their third heat winner of the night in heat six as Bandits kept their four-point lead.

But as the riders came out for heat seven, the rain became heavier and the referee rightly called the riders back to the pits.

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