Witches back in business

CHRIS Louis showed that he means business when he played a crucial part in Ipswich Evening Star Witches winning their second away Sky Bet Elite League match of the season.

By Elvin King

CHRIS Louis showed that he means business when he played a crucial part in Ipswich Evening Star Witches winning their second away Sky Bet Elite League match of the season.

The 34-year-old rider/manager needed to be at his best to win heat 14 and keep the visitors on course to beat Coventry Bees on a slick circuit last night.

The two points will give Ipswich confidence to complete a double over the Bees when the sides meet on Friday afternoon at Foxhall Stadium.

Coventry enjoyed their best crowd of the season and it is expected to be a similar situation when a large attendance is expected to see Ipswich continue their good start to the season.

Apart from young Daniel King, it was a good all-round performance by Ipswich and although they were expected to win against a weak-looking Coventry team it was certainly no easy ride.

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Skipper Scott Nicholls confirmed victory in a last heat decider when he won from the tapes after Coventry had showed considerable pluck after fighting back from being 11 points down after eight races.

Louis has shown that he can recapture some of his vintage form after nearly two years out of the saddle with injury, and he certainly came up with the goods in heat 14 at a time when Coventry looked as though they might just sneak a result.

And for a team that has serious hopes of winning the championship this season, anything other than a win last night would have been a serious blow.

Ipswich had a slice of luck in the opening race when Janniro suffered an engine failure when in second place on the third lap. This turned what was likely to be a drawn heat into a 4-2 advantage for the Witches.

Kim Jansson then won heat two from the starting tapes before Stuart Robson rode inside both Ipswich riders to reach the chequered flag first in the next heat.

Nicholls started his night with a victory in race four although Jonsson came close to catching him on the line. Former Witches Jason Bunyan impressed from reserve for Coventry and passed Jansson on the fourth turn.

The Witches stretched their lead in race five when Andersen went round the outside of Chris Harris on the second bend, and Nicholls did well in heat six to hold off 16-year- old Morten Risager in the early stages to win heat six.

Ipswich then stamped their authority on proceedings and on a slick track where passing was at a premium because of a lack of shale.

Both Louis and Jensen went round the outside of Jonsson in great style on the second bend for a 5-1. In heat eight Risager was used as a tactical rider but Danny Bird and Jansson were too quick from the start and the Coventry man could only finish third with his points doubling up from one to two.

This gave Ipswich a 5-2 and increased their lead to 11 points.

Nicholls gated to win heat nine before Coventry began their fight-back with a win for Janniro in the following race although Jensen did well to pass Risager on the fourth bend to gain second place.

After the interval Jonsson made full use of the tactical rider rule when he won from the start to notch six points and reduce the Ipswich lead to six points.

Jensen won heat 12 as he normally does to stretch the Ipswich lead to eight points, but a 5-1 in the following race meant that the visitors had to show their mettle before they could emerge victors and continue their good start to the season.