The Ipswich ‘Tru7.com’ Witches got the 2016 campaign off to a disappointing start with a 41-48 home defeat to the Scunthorpe ‘Henderson Insurance’ Scorpions in the League Cup. The Witches have also received bad news on the injury front after x-rays showed Morten Risager has broken his second metatarsal in his right foot, an injury that could keep the Dane out for a few weeks. We will have more information in the morning after Morten has seen the doctor.

The night got off to a good start when captain Danny King swooped from the outside to take charge of the race on the back straight but unfortunately James Sarjeant got into trouble in the first turn and slipped off. The Scorpions hit a big 5-1 in heat two before the Witches hit back with a 4-2 after Risager took the chequered flag with Lewis Kerr rounding Holub to take third. Nico Covatti then led from start to finish in heat four with Darryl Ritchings battling into third to level the scores at 12-12.

The Witches looked to be gaining momentum and took the lead in heat five when Kerr won in style with Risager claiming third having pushed hard for second but Josh Auty held on. King claimed another three points for the Witches in heat six after he rounded Carl Wilkinson on lap one but Sarjeant, who endured a tough night, could not get in the points. The tide turned in heat seven when the Scorpions recorded a maximum via the impressive Alex Davies and Zdenek Holub, who held off severe pressure from Covatti for second. The Scorpions were at it again the following heat when Nicolai Klindt took the win with the unfortunate Sarjeant falling on the last bend, having battled into second, giving the Scorpions a 27-21 lead after eight heats.

Heat nine was incident packed with Wilkinson falling on the second bend and being excluded from the re-run. In the re-run Kerr then fell having tried to dive under Ryan Douglas, with Risager catching Kerr’s bike and sustaining his metatarsal injury. Despite the injury, Risager got up and won the match race against Douglas to keep the Witches in the hunt. Davies then produced a magnificent ride for the away side to hold off King who was on his back wheel for four laps with Holub claiming an important third. Covatti then won from the gate in heat 11 for a 3-3 but the meeting slipped away in heat 12 when Davies won again with Wilkinson joining him for a 5-1 to make it 41-30 with three heats to go.

King was back to winning ways in heat 13 in a shared heat and Risager, despite injury, won again in heat 14 with Ritchings claiming third to reduce the deficit. Heat 15 was stopped after King and Douglas went down in the first turn but King got up to win the re-run with Covatti taking Douglas for third to make the final score 41-48 to the away side.

The Witches will look to get their first win of the season when they travel north for the return League Cup fixture on Sunday against the Scorpions (3pm).

Ipswich ‘Tru7.com’ Witches: Danny King 14, Morten Risager 10, Nico Covatti 8, Lewis Kerr 5, Darryl Ritchings 4, James Sarjeant 0, Paco Castagna 0.

Scunthorpe ‘Henderson Insurance’ Scorpions: Alex Davies 13, Carl Wilkinson 9+2, Ryan Douglas 7+1, Josh Auty 6+2, Nicolai Klindt 6+1, Zdenek Holub 5+1, Josh Bailey 2+1.