Witches give Wolves a fright
IPSWICH Evening Star Witches gave Wolves the fright of their lives at Monmore Green last night.The home side eventually ran out 49-44 victors, but it was a meeting that could so easily have gone in the Witches' favour as they plugged away all evening and made the most of a tactical ride by Chris Louis in heat 12.
IPSWICH Evening Star Witches gave Wolves the fright of their lives at Monmore Green last night.
The home side eventually ran out 49-44 victors, but it was a meeting that could so easily have gone in the Witches' favour as they plugged away all evening and made the most of a tactical ride by Chris Louis in heat 12.
In that race Louis forced his way through from the back to join partner Daniel King who had made a super start and the pair scored a maximum 8-1 to bring the Witches to within one point of the home side.
With Grand Prix star Hans Andersen and Scott Nicholls both likely to ride in heats 13 and 15, there was real optimism in the visitors' side of the pits they could score a second victory on this track this season.
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But despite Andersen leading heat 13 he was eventually overhauled by both Wolves riders with Nicholls trying everything to get himself in the fray.
It was a massive result for Wolves who now led by five points with two heats to go and despite the brilliance of Louis in the penultimate heat it was the Midlanders who celebrated victory.
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The Witches had travelled to Wolverhampton without former Wolves rider Jesper B Jensen, who was injured, but they put up a terrific scrap and in Louis had the rider of the night.
The Ipswich veteran was in outstanding form and he deserved every one of his paid 19 points with an exhibition of craft and skill you will go a long way to find on any speedway track this season.
Time after time Louis came from the back and his performance should have seen him finish on the winning side.
Quite how the former world number three had been overlooked for the Team GB World Cup squad by manager Neil Middleditch is even more unbelievable considering his current form.
Ipswich were well served by all six riders, with only Andersen disappointing, although he was worth more than his four points.
Youngster Daniel King in particular looked well in the hunt throughout and he helped Louis on more than one occasion after some fast starts from the teenager.
This result gives the Witches a good chance of collecting the bonus point at Foxhall on Thursday, although they will be wary of Wolverhampton as they beat them by ten points on their last visit to Suffolk.
Certainly there were more pluses than negatives from this one and if the Witches continue this form, with a fit Jensen, for the rest of the season the play-offs are well within their grasp as is a good Knock-Out Cup run.
Mikel Max and Fredrik Lindgren got the home side off to the best possible start in heat one before the Witches got lucky in the next with Adam Skornicki grinding to a halt while leading.
Louis passed Lindgren in heat three, but it was the home side who had started stronger and Nicholls produced the Witches' first heat win in race four.
Andersen had his best moment of the night in the next, team-riding the fast-starting Kim Jansson round for a maximum 5-1 victory, while Skornicki brought the home crowd to their feet as he held off Nicholls in the next.
Louis produced an excellent first turn to win heat seven and Nicholls and Louis again won heats nine and ten.
The meeting appeared to be slipping away from the visitors when Andersen and Jansson got in a muddle on the first and second turns of heat 11, but then came Louis' tactical ride in the next with King bringing the scores back to 38-37.
However, it was the closest the Witches got and Max finished the meeting strongly for the home side after a cracking duel with Nicholls in the last race with Louis once more passing Ermolenko as the Witches went down by five points.