By Henry Chard
BELLE VUE 31: Max Fricke 20, Brady Kurtz 9, Tom Brennan (RS) 2. Team Manager: Mark Lemon
IPSWICH 27: Jason Doyle 18, Troy Batchelor 9, Danyon Hume (RS) 0. Team Manager: Ritchie Hawkins
WOLVES 24: Sam Masters 16, Nick Morris 8, Joe Thompson (RS) 0. Team Manager: Peter Adams
KING’S LYNN 21: Josh Pickering 14, Richard Lawson 7, Jason Edwards (RS) 0. Team Manager: Alex Brady
PETERBOROUGH 20: Chris Harris 13, Scott Nicholls 7, Jordan Jenkins (RS) 0. Team Manager: Rob Lyon
SHEFFIELD 12: Adam Ellis 8, Jack Holder 2, Connor Mountain (RS) 2. Team Manager: Simon Stead
SEMI-FINAL: Doyle, Masters, Hume, Morris (excluded) – 6-3 to Ipswich
FINAL: Doyle, Batchelor, Fricke, Kurtz – 7-2 to Ipswich
REFEREE: W. Jarvis
PREMIERSHIP PAIRS TABLE
The ‘Tru Mix’ Witches pairing of Jason Doyle and Troy Batchelor won Round 4 of the Premiership Pairs at Wolverhampton on Monday night.
Ipswich had won the last two rounds of the competition and led the way heading to the West Midlands. Belle Vue topped the qualifying scores, but Doyle and Batchelor were working well together once again, and they finished second to setup a clash against third placed Wolves in the semi-final. Ipswich then quietened the home crowd as they saw off Wolverhampton to progress to the final where they stormed to victory over the Aces to strengthen their position at the top of the standings.
Team manager Ritchie Hawkins put Danyon Hume in for his regulation ride straight from the off as Max Fricke won heat three ahead of Doyle and whilst Hume held third early on, he wasn’t able to hold off Brady Kurtz, meaning a 6-3 to the Belle Vue Aces.
Doyle was a dominant winner in heat six ahead of Adam Ellis and with Batchelor sat in third it meant a 6-3 heat advantage over the Sheffield Tigers.
Doyle was a winner again in heat nine and Batchelor covered every move Josh Pickering threw at him to hold onto second for a big 7-2 against the King’s Lynn Stars.
Doyle held off Sam Masters to take the chequered again in heat 12 and with Batchelor in third it was a 6-3 over the hosts Wolverhampton Wolves.
Scott Nicholls fell at the start of heat 13 but was allowed back in for the re-run. Nicholls then hit the deck again at the start of the re-run and was excluded on this occasion. The third attempt was also called back with the Witches on a 7-2 and Chris Harris was warned for moving at the start. At the fourth go, Batchelor and Doyle made the gate again but Harris produced a fine ride to pass both Witches meaning a 5-4 to Ipswich over the Peterborough Panthers which put them in the semi-final against hosts Wolverhampton.
Doyle made the gate in the semi-final and was leading before Nick Morris fell as he was being passed by Batchelor for third on the second lap and the home rider was excluded from the re-run. There was more drama before the re-run even got underway with Batchelor suffering mechanical issues at the tapes and he was excluded for missing the two-minute time allowance with Hume coming in as a replacement. Doyle beat Masters once the action restarted with Hume in third to secure a 6-3 to Ipswich and progress to the final.
Doyle and Batchelor raced from the gate in the final and were comfortable winners over the Belle Vue Aces with a 7-2 heat advantage which sealed a third round victory on the trot in the competition.
REACTION FROM THE BOSS
Ipswich ‘Tru Mix’ Witches team manager Ritchie Hawkins reflects on Monday’s fourth round at Wolverhampton.
“It’s another great night in the Pairs. Three wins on the bounce puts us in a great position in the standings and it was another great night at Wolves. We have had three wins from three there this year and it carries on our great form and that buzz around the club at the moment.
“Doyley was superb as he has been every meeting and Batch carried on his great form from Thursday and stepped it up with a superb start in the final. As a pairing they have two wins from two in the Pairs which shows they love racing together. Danyon went out in heat three in our first race which was his best opportunity. He made a good start and very nearly scored points there. It was great for him to get another opportunity in the meeting later on and he has been a credit to the side as it is a hard job only getting one race a meeting and he was ready to go again for the semi which is a credit to him, and he is an important part of the team.
“We are 12 points clear in the standings now and tonight really went our way with other teams too. 12 points can vanish in one meeting, so we need to make sure we carry on at Sheffield and get some more points on the board there so that we go to the final round at Belle Vue in a strong position.”
WHAT IT MEANS
Ipswich add another 12 points to their tally and now hold a 12-point lead over second place King’s Lynn with two rounds to go. Wolverhampton and Peterborough are now out of the running to win the competition.
The ‘Tru Mix’ Witches host the Sheffield Tigers at Foxhall Stadium on Thursday 21st July in a Premiership fixture. Tickets can be purchased here.
Digital Media Manager at Ipswich Speedway