IPSWICH 48: Jake Allen 16, Richard Lawson 9+1, Chris Harris 7+2, Krystian Pieszczek 5+1, Cameron Heeps 4+2, David Bellego 4+1, Danny King © 3. Team Manager: Ritchie Hawkins
SWINDON 42: Jason Doyle © 13+1, Tobiasz Musielak 10+1, Troy Batchelor 9, Adam Ellis 6, James Shanes 2+1, Dawid Lampart 2, Zach Wajtknecht 0. Team Manager: Alun Rossiter
REFEREE: M. Bates
SOUTHERN GROUP SUPPORTERS CUP TABLE…
The ‘Tru Plant’ Witches beat the Swindon Robins 48-42 at Foxhall on Thursday night in the Supporters Cup as the away side claimed a consolation point.
The Witches lead throughout the meeting and never looked like losing but the visitors didn’t let the Witches out of their sight and struck late to claim a vital point on the road to consolidate their position at the top of the group. Jake Allen was the star man on the night scoring 16 from reserve.
Jason Doyle won heat one comfortably but David Bellego and Chris Harris both passed Dawid Lampart for a 3-3. Allen and Cameron Heeps then raced to a 5-1 in heat two as the pair continued their strong partnership at reserve. Heeps was back out in heat three as he replaced Krystian Pieszczek after the Polish rider went through the tapes. The second attempt at heat three was also unsatisfactory with Adam Ellis warned for moving at the start. Richard Lawson was the winner when the heat did get going and Ellis came second after fending off Heeps in third. That 4-2 to the Witches put them 12-6 up after three heats.
Heat four was eventful as Allen won a shared race but it could have been a heat advantage to the home team. Troy Batchelor was in second for the Robins but got out of shape on the third lap allowing Danny King into second, but the Ipswich captain then fell due to machinery issues and was excluded with a 3-3 awarded. Doyle was a convincing winner again in heat five in another shared heat. The 3-3’s continued in heat six as Batchelor won ahead of Harris and Bellego leaving the hosts 21-15 up.
The shared heats kept on coming as Tobias Musielak held off King for the win in heat seven. Allen was enjoying a brilliant night as he reeled off another win in heat eight ahead of Lampart as Bellego picked up third for a 4-2 to Ipswich. Pieszczek won heat nine after a tough battle with Batchelor, who was not happy after the race and with Lawson taking third it was a Witches 4-2 to put them 32-22 ahead.
Allen replaced Bellego in heat 10 but it was Musielak who won for the visitors ahead of the Witches reserve and Ellis took third for a Swindon 4-2. Allen produced a stunning ride to win heat 11 as he beat 2017 world champion Doyle and King passed Lampart for third for a Witches heat advantage. Harris won heat 12 in a shared heat with the Witches closing in on victory, leading 41-31.
Allen replaced King in heat 13 but he couldn’t beat Doyle this time as the Robins captain took the chequered flag but with Allen and Lawson behind him, it was a 3-3 that confirmed victory for the home team. The fans voted in man of the night Allen and Pieszczek to represent the Witches in heat 14 whilst Doyle and Ellis won the vote for the Robins. The penultimate heat of the night went the way of the visitors as they raced to a 5-1 that kept them in the hunt for a consolation point going into heat 15. The Robins did claim a consolation point after Musielak beat Lawson and Harris in heat 15, making the final score 48-42 to Ipswich.
An easy decision with this one – Jake Allen. The Witches reserves have started the season on fire and this week it was Allen’s time to shine. The reserve racked up 16 points and even beat the 2017 world champion Doyle in one race.
It perhaps wasn’t decisive but heat 11 was a heat that Allen and many Witches fans will say was their highlight of the night. It’s not often a reserve beats a former world champion, but the Ipswich man did just that with a fabulous ride and with his partner King passing Lampart for third, the Witches 4-2 edged them closer to victory.
WHAT IT MEANS…
The Witches add three points to their name in the group as the Robins add one point after this close contest. That leaves Swindon top of the group on nine points with the Witches on second with six points, both sides have two meetings remaining in the group stage, with only top spot progressing to the final.
The ‘Tru Plant’ Witches face Wolverhampton Wolves at Monmore Green on Monday 29th April in a Premiership fixture.