By Henry Chard
PETERBOROUGH 47: Bjarne Pedersen 11+1, Hans Andersen 5+2, Michael Palm Toft 5+1, Scott Nicholls © 9+1, Chris Harris 4, Jordan Palin (RS) 1+1, Ulrich Ostergaard 12. Team Manager: Rob Lyon
IPSWICH 43: Adam Ellis (g) 8, Paul Starke 4, Danny King © 9+1, Jake Allen 8+1, Craig Cook 7+1, Anders Rowe 6, Drew Kemp (RS) 1. Team Manager: Ritchie Hawkins
REFEREE: C. Durno
The ‘Tru Plant’ Witches picked up a point after a narrow defeat at Peterborough on Monday night in the Premiership.
There was little to separate the two sides all night and the scores were level with two to race but two heat advantages to the hosts in the final two races sealed victory for them. Danny King was the top scoring Witch with 9+1.
It was an untidy start to the night as Ipswich guest Adam Ellis, in for the injured Jason Crump, hit the deck on the first turn of the opening heat after some bunching with all four called back for a second attempt. Ellis picked himself up to win the re-run, but partner Paul Starke couldn’t hold onto second and was passed by both Panthers in a shared heat. It was the same result in heat two as Anders Rowe collected three points before the away side made it three wins from three as King took the chequered with Jake Allen third for a 2-4. Panthers reserve Ulrich Ostergaard was excluded for touching the tapes in heat four and was replaced by fellow reserve Jordan Palin and it was Ipswich who took the win again in the re-run as Craig Cook won ahead of Chris Harris with Drew Kemp in third for another heat advantage to the visitors which doubled their lead.
The hosts levelled the score with a 5-1 in heat five before Cook made it two wins from two in heat six, but Rowe couldn’t hold off Hans Andersen for third, meaning the scores remained level. The visitors were back in front after heat seven as Harris suffered machinery issues at the start line and King and Allen hit the front for a 1-5. Ostergaard won heat eight as Andersen once again won the battle for third getting past Kemp on this occasion for a Panthers 4-2 that left the Witches two points up after eight races.
The home side put themselves ahead for the first time on the night with a maximum in heat nine before Allen made the gate in heat 10 to win in a 3-3. The score was level again after heat 11 as Ellis returned to winning ways and Starke passed Palin to grab a point for a 2-4. Ostergaard was a winner again in heat 12 but Rowe and King managed to hold off Michael Palm Toft at the back to keep the score level with three heats to race.
It looked like the home team would take a big step towards victory in heat 13 as Bjarne Pedersen and Harris hit the front but the former British champion suffered more machinery issues and packed up mid-race allowing the visitors to salvage a 3-3. The hosts did edge ahead in heat 14 though as Ostergaard took victory again, rounding Allen to hit the front and Scott Nicholls kept Rowe at the back for a point that put the Panthers two up going into heat 15. The home team sealed victory as Pedersen won the final race ahead of King and Nicholls was third for a heat advantage to the Panthers that gave them a four-point victory on the night.
Ipswich ‘Tru Plant’ Witches team manager Ritchie Hawkins reflects on a narrow defeat at Peterborough.
“I have no complaints about the result, they just got the better of us. We have a consolation point and it is just that as with the position we have been in we needed a win and maybe it was an opportunity to do that. On the flip side, it should be the start now to get on a run that we need to make the play-offs as it was a much better all-round team performance and it was a big improvement. I am happy with the lads and can’t complain about their performance and the result. They just got the better of us on the night.
“It is a place we know that we are going to go well and generally we perform there. The mood in camp was good and we fought hard. We won a lot of races and they got the better of us on the day. It was much-improved as I’m as happy as you can be after a defeat.”
RIDER OF THE NIGHT
Skipper King top scored with 9+1 from five rides and provided two race wins on the night.
WHAT IT MEANS
Peterborough go top of the table with victory, the Witches claim a consolation point and stay fourth in the table.
The ‘Tru Plant’ Witches travel to Yorkshire to face the Sheffield Tigers on Thursday 24th June at Owlerton Stadium in a Premiership fixture. Tickets can be purchased here.
Digital Media Manager at Ipswich Speedway