SWINDON 46: Jason Doyle © 11+1, Troy Batchelor 10, Rasmus Jensen 8, David Bellego 7+1, Adam Ellis 7, Ellis Perks 3+1, Todd Kurtz (g) 0. Team Manager: Alun Rossiter
IPSWICH 44: Krystian Pieszczek 12, Edward Kennett 10, Danny King © 9+2, Jake Allen 4+2, Chris Harris 4+1, Richard Lawson 4+1, Cameron Heeps 1+1. Team Manager: Ritchie Hawkins
REFEREE: C. Gay
VENUE: Abbey Stadium
The ‘Tru Plant’ Witches lost out in a last-heat decider as they were defeated 46-44 away at Swindon on Thursday in the Premiership.
Ipswich produced yet another impressive performance on their travels as the hosts were unable to stamp their authority on the tie and pull away. The home team were two ahead going into the final heat and the Witches missed out on the draw as Swindon skipper Jason Doyle passed Krystian Pieszczek on the final lap to win and deny the visitors a heat advantage. The Suffolk side take a consolation point for their efforts. Pieszczek top scored for the away side with 12.
The home side started strongly with a 5-1 in heat one thanks to Doyle and David Bellego. However, the Witches responded in heat two as Edward Kennett won and was followed home by Jake Allen for a maximum to level the score. Heat three was a cracker as the Witches pair of Danny King and Cameron Heeps made the gate but Rasmus Jensen soon split the Witches pair. Adam Ellis then got past Heeps for third and Jensen produced a last-ditch move to pass King on the run to the line for the win. That 4-2 to the Robins put them 10-8 up.
Troy Batchelor won heat four ahead of Pieszczek and Allen for a 3-3. The Witches once again started well in heat five as Chris Harris and Richard Lawson hit the front, but Ellis worked his way into second early on before passing Harris on the final lap to take the win, meaning a 3-3. Pieszczek was the early leader in heat six but he was passed by Bellego as the Frenchman went on and won with partner Doyle in third to give the home team a 4-2 which put them 20-16 ahead.
Heeps was excluded from heat seven for going through the tapes as home rider Ellis Perks was also warned ahead of the re-run. Allen replaced Heeps for the away side as King won the re-run in a 3-3. Perks replaced Todd Kurtz for the Robins in heat eight whilst Kennett came in for Allen. The change worked perfectly for the visitors as Kennett took the chequered flag ahead of Bellego with Lawson picking up a point for an Ipswich 4-2. Allen then came in for Kennett in heat nine as Pieszczek took another win for the Witches and with Allen in third behind Jensen it was a 4-2 to Ipswich that levelled the score at 27-27.
Doyle won a shared heat 10 ahead of King and Heeps before Batchelor did the same for the Robins in heat 11 ahead of Lawson and Harris. Heat 12 was called back with Kurtz warned for jumping the start. Jensen won the re-run, but Kennett and King were both in the points for a 3-3 that left it level at 36-36.
Harris was excluded from heat 13 after going through the tapes, with Doyle warned for moving at the start. Allen came in for Harris but Pieszczek was the hero for the away side as he made the gate and beat Batchelor and Doyle on their own patch for a shared heat. Kennett came in for Allen in heat 14. Ellis won the penultimate heat, but Kennett split the home pairing as Perks hung on for third ahead of Heeps to edge the hosts in front going into the final heat. Heat 15 was the dramatic last-heat decider you would expect. Pieszczek made the gate for the Witches as King sneaked into third to put the Witches on a heat advantage that would have given them the draw. However, 2017 world champion Doyle showed why he is one of the best in the business as he gave it everything to pass Pieszczek on the final lap to take the win and ensure the home team took the narrowest of wins, 46-44.
RIDER OF THE NIGHT…
Pieszczek enjoyed his best night away from home all season, rising to the challenge of wearing the number five on his back. The Polish rider scored 12 including a huge win in heat 13 over Batchelor and Doyle and he was almost the hero in heat 15 too but couldn’t keep Doyle behind him.
The two sides could barely be separated over 14 heats and it always looked like it was going to go to a last-heat decider. Pieszczek led the race with King third as the Witches looked set to take a draw from the Abbey but Doyle showed his class to pass Pieszczek on the final lap and ensure the Robins took the win.
WHAT IT MEANS…
Swindon take three league points that puts them fifth in the Premiership table whilst the Witches take a point for their efforts that sees them drop to second on points difference.
The ‘Tru Plant’ Witches travel to the National Speedway Stadium to take on the Belle Vue Aces on Monday 8th July in a Premiership fixture at 7.30pm.
AROUND THE TRACKS…
Poole beat King’s Lynn 49-41 in the Premiership on Thursday at Wimborne Road.