Witches win despite Bees row

A MAJOR row over dirt deflectors almost caused this televised speedway meeting at Foxhall Stadium to be curtailed.Three of the visiting Coventry side were accused of using illegal deflectors and referee Paul Carrington confirmed that he is to make a special report on the matter to the Speedway Control Bureau.At one point, Bees’ team manager Colin Pratt was on the point of withdrawing his team from the match.In the end, sense prevailed and Ipswich Evening Star Witches beat the bottom club in the Sky Bet Elite League in their first B fixture of the season.

A MAJOR row over dirt deflectors almost caused this televised speedway meeting at Foxhall Stadium to be curtailed.

Three of the visiting Coventry side were accused of using illegal deflectors and referee Paul Carrington confirmed that he is to make a special report on the matter to the Speedway Control Bureau.

At one point, Bees’ team manager Colin Pratt was on the point of withdrawing his team from the match.

In the end, sense prevailed and Ipswich Evening Star Witches beat the bottom club in the Sky Bet Elite League in their first B fixture of the season.


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Jesper B Jensen became the first Witch to score a maxiumum this year and the Dane was in tremendous form, although the meeting was not the best seen at Foxhall this season with a limited number of passes.

The home side won by the same score as in the Good Friday afternoon match when Coventry last visited Foxhall in Jensen’s previous home match. He missed out on a couple of home meetings after suffering bruised ribs in a crash in Sweden three weeks ago.

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Andreas Jonsson, Stuart Robson and Morten Risager were the Coventry riders accused of having deflectors too high off the ground.

Long-serving Ipswich machine examiner Fred Cotton said: “Andreas’ deflector was an inch too high off the ground, and on that basis was giving him an advantage over his rivals.

“Two other riders were also in my opinion illegal. It is becoming a trend and we are trying to do something about it. We made our feelings known, but got the impression from Colin Pratt that he would pull out of the meeting.”

Pratt said: “We came to Ipswich to try to put on a show. The dirt deflectors were bought off a stockist and were genuine. We rectified a couple that were found to be faulty, but they still kept complaining.

“It was petty and at the end of the day if you buy trousers that do not fit you change them. We were not disgraced in the meeting against an Ipswich side that deserves to be in the top three.

“They are the only side at the top that is

winning matches because of its top five, as it should be. The others are picking up crucial points at reserve with riders who have come in on false gradings.

“I would like to improve my side, but it is a very hard thing to do this year with the new regulations.”

Hans Andersen, like Jensen, warmed up

nicely for this Saturday’s Czech Republic Grand Prix in Prague with an impressive show,and he began with a win over Coventry top man Jonsson in heat one.

The Swede was used under the rider replacement rule for the injured Billy Janniro, and this facility accrued seven points.

In the reserve race Daniel King emphasised his improved gating with a fine win – with home debut-making Trevor Harding in third place.

Jonsson lost his dirt deflector during his second race in heat four after Jensen and Chris Louis had combined for the first of their two 5-1’s in heat three.

With Ipswich guest Lee Richardson suffering a broken throttle cable at the start, Coventry were able to reduce the home lead to four points.

In the following race Jensen and Louis restored the Witches’ eight-point advantage, only for Jonsson to win heat six as a tactical rider to have his points doubled.

This kept Coventry in the match, and they pulled to within one point in race seven after King made another fine start. With ex-Coventry rider Richardson at the back, King held the lead until the third lap when he went too wide and was passed by both Coventry men.

Former Witch Jason Bunyan had a busy and fruitful night and he went beyond Harding at the end of the first lap in heat eight of a race won expertly by Kim Jansson. Louis dropped his only points of the night to an opponent in race nine, but Jensen flew around the outside of the second bend to beat Jonsson.

Andersen and Jansson were in top form in heat 11, but Coventry used Chris Harris as a tactical rider in heat 11 – and he went beyond both Ipswich riders on the second lap to take the lead.

Richardson, with his machine now firing well, was trying to team ride with King after both made the start. But once Harris got in front, Richardson took matters into his own hands and wound up the Coventry man before re-passing him and taking the chequered flag.

Three predictable drawn heats followed with Louis confirming a home win in heat 14. In the final race Jonsson was ahead on the second turn when he suffered a broken chain.

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