Wolves 43 Ipswich 47: Stunning Witches top the table

Troy Batchelor heading for victory in heat four.

Troy Batchelor at Wolves - Credit: Steve Waller - stephenwaller.com

Ipswich Witches went back to the top of speedway's Premiership with a stunning four-point victory at Wolverhampton.

The Suffolk side made it two wins out of two in the west Midlands, having beaten Wolves on their own track earlier in the season.

Led by impressive reserve Erik Riss, who notched a paid 17 points, Ipswich again showed tremendous resilience to take an early lead, see that lead eroded, before finishing strongly.

It was a super effort from Ritchie Hawkins' side. 

“Our two trips here have been our best two overall and I’m really pleased," said Hawkins.

"It is nice to get back to the top of the table and we are making a bit of a habit of being top of the league at the moment.

“Erik Riss at reserve is a massive bonus for a team, it is down to his form last year really as he has been going well with us. It is a pity really that we haven’t got that many meetings this month.

“I don’t think we are at our best yet. We are dovetailing with people having off nights and then other people stepping up. We are not as consistent as we could be."

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The Witches were again missing Paul Starke who picked up another injury at Sheffield last Monday night.

Wolves gave a late fitness test to Sam Masters, which he passed, the home man then duly leading Jason Doyle home in heat one.

Riss was away and gone for the Witches in heat two, with Danyon Hume alongside. However, Drew Kemp split the visitors who took an early lead.

Ipswich were gating well in the early stages and Luke Becker did well to pass both Troy Batchelor and Ben Barker in the next, before Danny King and Riss, again starting well, notched a 5-1 in heat four to put the visitors 9-16 ahead.

Jason Doyle goes up the inside of Steve Worrall, to take the lead in the opening heat.

Witches ace Jason Doyle, in white - Credit: Steve Waller - stephenwaller.com

Doyle comfortably won heat six as the Witches retained their six-point cushion, before Wolves hit back in the next, Steve Worrall passing King to join Masters at the front for a Wolves maximum.

The Witches now led by two and it remained that way after Nick Morris won heat seven. But it was all level after heat eight when Leon Flint passed Barker for a vital third place, as Worrall won again. However, the Witches hit straight back, Riss proving a trump card at reserve winning, with Ryan Douglas falling on lap three to gift the Witches a 5-1 maximum.

Yet this topsy-turvy clash went the way of the home side in the next as Masters and Worrall left Batchelor in their wake to level it up at 30-30.

Promoter Chris Louis and team manager Ritchie Hawkins talk tactics in the sun ahead of the meeting.

Witches management team of Chris Louis, left and Ritchie Hawkins - Credit: Steve Waller -www.stephenwaller.com

There was a re-start to heat 11 after Doyle moved at the tapes and Morris fell on the first turn, but in that re-run Doyle was away and gone as Riss picked up third.

The Witches had nosed back in front but Becker produced a stunning ride to pass both Witches in heat 12 as Ipswich remained ahead at 35-37 with three to go.

Doyle won the next as King produced a fine pass on Morris and the Witches were now four up with two to go and when Batchelor and Riss gated to the front in heat 14, the game was over for the home side.

Scorers

Wolves: S Masters 12+2 ; S Worrall 8+1 ; L Becker 12; R Douglas 2+1; N Morris 6; D Kemp 2; L Flint 1.

Ipswich:  J Doyle 11 ; B Barker 3+1; T Batchelor 7+3; R/R; D King 7+2 ; E Riss 16+1; D Hume 3.


Heat details

1. Masters, Doyle, Barker, Worrall 3-3 56.38

2. Riss, Kemp, Hume, Flint 2-4 (5-7) 57.65

3. Becker, Barker, Batchelor, Douglas 3-3 (8-10) 56.90

4. Riss, King, Morris, Flint 1-5 (9-15) 57.06

5. Doyle, Becker, Douglas, Barker 3-3 (12-18) 56.87

6. Worrall, Masters, King, Hume 5-1 (17-19) 57.47

7. Morris, Riss, Batchelor, Kemp 3-3 (20-22) 57.69

8. Worrall, Hume, Flint, Barker 4-2 (24-24) 57.66

9. Riss, King, Becker, Douglas (Fx) 1-5 (25-29) No time

10. Masters, Worrall, Batchelor, Hume 5-1 (30-30) 57.63

11. Doyle, Morris, Riss, Kemp 2-4 (32-34) 57.65

12. Becker, Riss, Batchelor, Flint 3-3 (35-37) 58.03

13. Doyle, Masters, King, Morris 2-4 (37-41) 57.00

14. Batchelor, Riss, Douglas, Kemp 1-5 (38-46) 57.69

15. Becker, Masters, King, Doyle 5-1 (43-47) 58.25

Wolves 0 pts. Witches 3pts.


Premiership

                                  P             Pts.

Ipswich                    11             22

Belle Vue                  10            20

Sheffield                   9              20

Wolves                     10             18

Peterborough           10              10

King's Lynn               8                9