By Henry Chard
IPSWICH 49: Cameron Heeps 13+2, Richard Lawson 11+1, Chris Harris 7+1, Krystian Pieszczek 6+2, Danny King © 6, Kyle Howarth (g) 3+2, Edward Kennett 3. Team Manager: Ritchie Hawkins
KING’S LYNN 41: Lewis Kerr 12, Craig Cook 12, Robert Lambert © 9, Thomas Jorgensen 5, Michael Palm Toft 3+1, Ty Proctor 0, Simon Lambert 0. Team Manager: Peter Schroeck
REFEREE: B. Horley
VENUE: Foxhall Stadium
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The ‘Tru Plant’ Witches finished strongly to beat East Anglia rivals King’s Lynn 49-41 on Thursday night at Foxhall in the Premiership.
Ipswich held a narrow lead throughout the meeting but there was little more than two points between the two sides for the majority of the night. The hosts led by two points with two to race and it looked like going to another last-heat decider. However, a 5-1 to the home team in heat 14 sealed victory and a 4-2 in the final heat of the night meant the Witches denied their rivals a consolation point, when it looked a certainty that the Stars would gain at least a point for their efforts. Once again Cameron Heeps top scored for Ipswich with 13+2 from reserve.
Robert Lambert won heat one from the gate as the points were shared to open proceedings and Lewis Kerr made it two wins from two for the visitors with a victory in the following heat ahead of Heeps and home guest Kyle Howarth, who was replacing the injured Jake Allen. The home team went ahead in heat three as Krystian Pieszczek won and Chris Harris tucked in behind him for a 5-1 to put the Suffolk side 11-7 up.
Heeps was immaculate as he won heat four ahead of Craig Cook and Danny King collected a point for a Witches 4-2 to extend their lead to six points. King’s Lynn hit back in heat five as Lambert took the win with partner Michael Palm Toft second for a 5-1 as Pieszczek pulled up at the back. Richard Lawson had to be at his best to win heat six as he held off Cook in second and home debutant Eddie Kennett was third for an Ipswich heat advantage that gave them a 20-16 lead.
Thomas Jorgensen got the better of King to win a shared heat seven. The pair were neck and neck heading into the third turn of the opening lap, but the Dane held the inside line and pushed the Witches skipper wide to take the lead and he couldn’t be caught. Kerr came in as a reserve replacement and won heat eight from the gate beating Heeps and Palm Toft took third for a Stars 4-2. Heat nine was called back with Pieszczek warned for jumping the start. Cook won the re-run in a shared heat, meaning Ipswich held a narrow 28-26 lead.
Kerr replaced Ty Proctor in heat 10 and won a shared race ahead of Lawson and Heeps, who had come in for Kennett. The three were level coming out of the second turn, but the Stars reserve emerged from the pack to win and keep the score tight. The red lights were on in heat 11 too with Howarth warned this time for moving at the start. King produced a great start in the re-run for an important win ahead of Lambert in second as Howarth held off Palm Toft for third to give the Witches a 4-2. Kerr’s fantastic night continued as he won heat 12 but Harris and Heeps were both in the points for a 3-3 that left it finely poised with the home team 38-34 up with three to race.
The scores got even closer after heat 13 as the Stars recorded a 4-2. Cook and Lambert made the gate for the away side and it got very tight on the fourth turn of the opening lap as Lawson nipped up the inside of Lambert to take second pushing him out wide and with King on the outside of the King’s Lynn captain, it was three abreast going down the home straight. Lawson held second but a 4-2 to the Norfolk outfit reduced the home team’s lead to just two points with two to race. Heeps replaced Howarth in heat 14 and he and Pieszczek came up trumps to produce a 5-1 that sealed the win for the Witches. Heeps made the gate ahead of Jorgensen but Pieszczek stormed up the back straight on the opening lap and dive-bombed the Dane going into the third turn to take second. The Witches pair were greeted by a roar from the Foxhall crowd as they crossed the line, having ensured the Suffolk side won the East Anglian derby once again. It looked as though the away side would take a point for their efforts heading into heat 15 but the Witches duo of Lawson and Heeps had other ideas. The home pair made the gate and it looked like being a 5-1 to the hosts to end the night. However, Cook managed to split the Witches pair by producing a hard move on Heeps coming out of the second turn on the second lap, leaving the Australian with nowhere to go. It wasn’t enough for the Stars though as a 4-2 meant Ipswich won the meeting 49-41, denying their rivals any points to the joy of the home fans.
TRU7.COM RIDER OF THE NIGHT…
Lawson was chosen as rider of the night by our title sponsors Tru7.com. Lawson produced his best when he needed to, beating Cook to win in heat six and winning a high-pressure heat 15 to send the Stars home with nothing.
With Ipswich leading by just two points going into heat 14, it looked certain to go all the way once again, there wasn’t much to separate the two sides all night. However, Heeps and Pieszczek produced a 5-1 at a crucial time to seal the derby win with a heat to spare. Heeps was in as a reserve replacement and he went on and won whilst Pieszczek produced what is becoming a trademark dive-bomb up the inside of Jorgensen on the third turn of the opening lap to take second and that sent the home fans wild.
WHAT IT MEANS…
Ipswich maintain their 100% home record and take three points that consolidates second place in the Premiership. The Stars take nothing from the meeting and remain bottom of the table.
The ‘Tru Plant’ Witches travel to the East of England Arena & Events Centre to face the Peterborough Panthers on Monday 1st July in a Premiership fixture at 7.30pm.
AROUND THE TRACKS…
Peterborough beat Swindon 50-40 at the East of England Arena & Events Centre in the Premiership.
BEN FUND COLLECTION
We would like to thank everyone for their contributions to the Speedway Riders’ Benevolent Fund during the interval of Thursday’s meeting. We raised a fantastic £2361.93, beating last year’s total!