Stars 42 Witches 48.... Superb Ipswich put King's Lynn to the sword
- Credit: Steve Waller -www.stephenwaller.com
Ipswich Witches kept their Premiership play-off hopes alive with a fine victory at the Norfolk Arena over King's Lynn - an away double over the Stars.
The Witches were dealt an early blow when Anders Rowe crashed out of the meeting in heat one, but after that the Suffolk side regrouped and took the local derby by storm.
Led by a superb reserve performance from Paul Starke who netted a paid 16 points, as well as top efforts from captain Danny King and Craig Cook, returning to the track he began the season at.
Rowe ended up pulling out of the meeting with a dislocated knee, but in Starke the Witches had an able replacement, as young Drew Kemp also produced some good rides.
There is still a lot for the Witches to do and they could have done with picking up all four points, instead of three. But they didn't lose and that was key.
There was early drama in heat one when both Scott Nicholls and Steve Worrall were warned at the start.
In the re-run Rowe took a heavy fall and hobbled back to the pits. He came out for the third re-run, but it was the Stars who gated to the front, squeezing out Worrall on the first turn to take an early lead.
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Ricky Wells held off the attentions of Starke in the next, with Connor Mountain falling at the back in a draw heat two.
King and Jake Allen were cruising to a 5-1 in the next, before Allen fell on the final bend, gifting the Stars a share of the spoils. Craig Cook stalked and past Richard Lawson in a thrilling heat four as the Witches pulled two points back at 13-11.
Rowe was pulled out of the meeting with a dislocated knee after that first heat fall. And it was the Witches who took the lead with Worrall and Starke hitting the front for a 5-1 maximum.
Nicholls won the next to level the scores up, but the Witches went back into the lead again as King took advantage of Lawson's mistake to take his second win, Lawson passing Allen on lap two.
Nicholls passed both Witches in another thrilling race, heat eight as the fine racing continued, but it was the Witches who stretched their lead to six in heat 10, Starke and Cook gating to a 5-1.
The Witches led 24-30 as Thomas Jorgensen passed King to reduce the lead in heat 10 Lawson won the next as King and Starke thumped home a crucial 5-1 in heat 12 to put the Witches eight up with three go to.
Cook won heat 13, with Worrall just holding off Jorgensen and the Witches clinched the victory with man of the meeting Starke getting second in heat 14.
The Witches entertain Belle Vue at Foxhall on Thursday.