Wolves 50 Witches 40.... Harris apology...as well as Ipswich boss Hawkins and Aussie ace Allen’s thoughts...Plus meeting report
- Credit: Picture: Steve Waller
Wolverhampton Wolves 50 Ipswich Witches 40
Ipswich Witches put up a battling performance at Wolverhampton but left Monmore Green with no Premiership points on Monday night after a 50-40 defeat.
The Witches made a cracking start to the clash and dominated the opening exchanges.
They had the first four race winners and led by six points after those four races.
But Wolves hit back in heat five and took control in the middle of the meeting, eventually running out victors.
The Witches reserves Cameron Heeps and Jake Allen were again in inspired form, but No.1 Chris Harris had an off-night, while David Bellego failed to score.
It was certainly a strange night with both teams using tactical subs, Wolves early on.
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“We’ve made a great start to the meeting and they are using a tac sub in heat five,” team boss Ritchie Hawkins said.
“They made a few mistakes early on and then we made too many ourselves. I’m disappointed not to come away with anything.
“There were plenty of good things and our reserves have again done well. But we need to be getting better results with them scoring as they are.
“It was a bit frustrating, although it was nice to see Danny King looking like his old self again. That’s the best I’ve seen him ride this season.”
Richard Lawson shot from the inside to win heat one for the Witches and Ashley Morris was in the ascendency in the next before Heeps overhauled him on lap two.
Allen finished third for the Witches as they took an early lead.
The Witches won the first three heats as King led from start to finish. And it got better for the Suffolk side as Allen led from the start and when Luke Becker got in trouble in second place, Krystian Pieszczek nipped into second place and Ipswich led by six, 15-9.
It had been a solid start to the meeting by the Witches, so much so Sam Masters came in for Wolves as a tactical substitute. It looked good for the Witches though as Chris Harris led, but Scott Nicholls went by before Masters grabbed second on the line to the joy of the home crowd.
Kyle Howarth slipped off in the next and was excluded. In the re-run Heeps and Masters went shoulder-to-shoulder on the opening lap, with Heeps emerging victorious.
Rory Schlein won heat seven and Allen looked set for another heat win in heat eight. But he went wide as the Wolves pairing went through and the home side took the lead for the first time on the night.
The Witches made the start in heat nine, but Heeps, in second place and Scott Nicholls clashed going down the start/finish line. It looked nasty but both riders got up, the Ipswich man excluded.
The re-run saw Wolves bang home a second consecutive 5-1 to take a six-point lead – they had turned the meeting round.
Heeps came in for David Bellego, the Frenchmen had failed to score in his opening two rides. But King fell on the opening bend and was the next Witch to be excluded.
It was turning into a tough night for the visitors after a promising start.
And Wolves weren’t letting up, Masters passed Heeps as the home team led by 10. But a tactical ride from King saw him partner up with Harris and Ipswich hit straight back with a 5-1 of their own.
King passed Becker as Ipswich kept just six behind.
But Wolves grabbed the win as Schlein passed Pieszczek on the final bend in heat 13 to join Masters at the front.
Allen did well to win heat 14 and complete another good night for him, as Masters made sure the Witches were not to get even a point.
Wolves: S Masters 13+3, K Howarth 8+2, S Nicholls 12+1, R/R, R Schlein 9+2, A Morris 3, L Becker 5
Ipswich: C Harris 3+1, R Lawson 3, D King 10+2, D Bellego 0, K Pieszczek 5+1, C Heeps 9, J Allen 10.
1 Lawson, Howarth, Masters, Harris 54.6 3-3
2 Heeps, Morris, Allen, Becker (r) 54.8 5-7
3 King, Nicholls, Howarth, Bellego 54.5 8-10
4 Allen, Pieszczek, Schlein, Becker 55.1 9-15
5 Nicholls, Masters*, Harris, Lawson 55.48 14-16
6 Heeps, Masters, Pieszczek, Howarth (f/x) 54.2 16-20
7 Schlein, King, Morris, Bellego 55.6 20-22
8 Becker, Howarth, Allen, Lawson 56.6 25-23
9 Nicholls, Schlein Pieszczek, Heeps (f/x) 56.3 30-24
10 Howarth, Masters, Heeps, King (f/x) 56.1 35-25
11 King*, Harris, Schlein, Morris 56.3 36-30
12 Nicholls, Heeps, King, Becker 56.2 39-33
13 Masters, Schlein, Pieszczek, Harris 56.2 44-34
14 Allen, Becker, Nicholls, Bellego 56.9 47-37
15 Masters, Allen, King, Nicholls 55.5 50-40
Wolves 3 pts. Ipswich 0 pts.