Upstarts upstage Dads' Army
King's Lynn 47 Ipswich Witches 42: DUBBED Dad's Army because of the age of their team, Ipswich Evening Star Witches were second best to the King's Lynn upstarts in the return meeting at the Norfolk Arena.
By Elvin King
King's Lynn 47 Ipswich Witches 42
Dubbed Dad's Army because of the age of their team, Ipswich Evening Star Witches were second best to the King's Lynn upstarts in last night's return meeting at the Norfolk Arena.
The only consolation for the Suffolk side was that they collected the aggregate bonus point following their earlier win at Foxhall Stadium.
Already considered the weakest team in the league, Lynn were further handicapped by injuries to two of their heat leaders. It looked a formality for a full-strength Witches team to collect a Bank Holiday double.
However, although they supplied nine race winners their lack of strength in depth meant that the Knights had the points sewn up before the start of the final heat.
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It was so disappointing for the 400 Ipswich fans in the large crowd that enjoyed a fine speedway meeting on a well prepared circuit.
The rider replacement facility for injured Lynn number one Nicki Pedersen accrued a paid seven points last night (a paid six in the afternoon) and surely the Danish Grand Prix rider would have contributed more.
And because of the lack of available Elite League riders, Lynn had no option than to use Australian Adam Shields as a guest for Travis McGowan.
Craig Boyce was the Ipswich star, dropping just one point in the final race and he received good support from Scott Nicholls and Chris Louis.
Nicholls however, will be unhappy after he fell in his opening ride while Louis failed to score in a crunch heat 13 when a good result for the visitors would have opened the match up.
Danny Bird blew hot and cold – being passed on the last lap on more than one occasion – but at least he looked better than the three other members of the Ipswich team.
Jeremy Doncaster was affected by a neck injury sustained at Foxhall but there were no excuses for Joonas Kylmakorpi who had a terrible evening and flew through the tapes as soon as the green light went on in his final scheduled heat.
Carl Baldwin was taken to hospital by ambulance with suspected broken ribs after crashing in heat four when in last place on the final lap.
If anything this helped Ipswich with Bird having an extra ride. Baldwin's misfortune meant that Ipswich failed to score in that fourth heat because Nicholls crashed on the last corner when trying all he knew to pass the superb Sebastian Ulamek.
The Pole was certainly the star of the home side but he received excellent support from his team-mates.
Louis won his first two races – which is good news – but Ipswich never put their noses in front with Doncaster being passed by Shields on the third bend of heat three.
Shields then went beyond Kylmakorpi on the last lap of heat five before Bird was overtaken by Freddie Eriksson on the second lap of heat six.
Doncaster got the better of Kramer after a passing bout in heat seven as Ipswich pulled to within one point.
The Knights scored a 5-1 with both their riders passing Bird in heat eight but then Ipswich had their best race with Nicholls taking the trouble to assist Bird round after they both made good starts.
Both Lynn riders went past Doncaster for another drawn heat and in race 11 Kramer passed Bird on the final circuit in a crucial move.
Both Isle of Wight riders, Shields and Bird, had a duel at the back in heat 12 with the former passing Bird on the last lap to keep Lynn three points ahead.
Ulamek showed his pedigree with a victory over Nicholls before a first place by Eriksson in the penultimate race ensured that Ipswich suffered a rather embarrassing defeat on a night when Lynn had a successful time all round.