5 things we learned about Ipswich Witches last night

Danny King inside Scott Nicholls, Jake Allen and Michael Palm Toft in heat three.

Danny King inside Scott Nicholls, Jake Allen and Michael Palm Toft in heat three. - Credit: Steve Waller -www.stephenwaller.com

Ipswich Witches were beaten in a last-heat decider at Peterborough last night. MIKE BACON takes a look at what we learned.

Danny King and Jake Allen celebrate their 5-1 in heat seven.

Danny King and Jake Allen celebrate their 5-1 in heat seven. - Credit: Steve Waller -www.stephenwaller.com

ONE POINT GAINED OR TWO LOST?

That was the big question being asked by Witches fans as they left the East of England Showground on Monday night.

The Suffolk side won six of the opening seven heats and were four points up after heat seven. But by heat nine they were two down! And while overall they won eight races to the Panthers seven, they still lost.

A point isn't a bad return but while the Witches did have plenty of heat winners, you never felt they were ever in control of the meeting.

Jake Allen, pictured at Peterborough and again a heat 15 choice for Witches team manager Ritchie Haw

Jake Allen, pictured at Peterborough and again a heat 15 choice for Witches team manager Ritchie Hawkins. - Credit: Steve Waller-www.stephenwaller.c

LET'S HEAR IT FOR JAKE

Jake Allen has been the Witches most consistent rider this season so far.

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And bearing in mind he wasn't going to race in England in 2021, it's to his credit he has attacked the British scene with relish upon his arrival in the UK.

Once again he was chosen for a nominated last-heat ride, bearing in mind he is a second string and not a heat leader. His contributions are so important to the side.

Witches promoter Chris Louis and Team manager Ritchie Hawkins.

Witches promoter Chris Louis and Team manager Ritchie Hawkins. - Credit: Steve Waller -www.stephenwaller.com

RITCHIE SAID...

Team boss Ritchie Hawkins had this to say about the defeat.

“I have no complaints about the result, they just got the better of us.

"We have a consolation point and it is just that as with the position we have been in we needed a win and maybe it was an opportunity to do that.

"On the flip side, it should be the start now to get on a run that we need to make the play-offs as it was a much better all-round team performance and it was a big improvement."

Danny King takes a look at the Peterborough track ahead of the meeting.

Danny King takes a look at the Peterborough track ahead of the meeting. - Credit: Steve Waller -www.stephenwaller.com

MISSED OPPORTUNITY?

It was a strange night of racing at Peterborough.

Usually one of the best tracks for overtaking, there were an unusual number of races won from the gate.

Getting track conditions right for the meeting would have been tricky with rain forecast all day, although as usual the racing was very fast and furious and track smooth and in fine fettle. Alwalton is a superb racing circuit.

However, track conditions could and should have played into the Witches hands, especially with Chris Harris having engine problems in two of his races, as well.

Craig Cook leads the way from Chris Harris in heat four.

Craig Cook leads the way from Chris Harris in heat four. - Credit: Steve Waller -www.stephenwaller.com

UP NEXT

There is no time to overthink this defeat. The Witches are at Sheffield on Thursday in what will be another tough gig for Hawkins' side.

However, take a point and it won't have been a bad return of two points from two away clashes. Anything more will be a big bonus.

But the season is moving apace and the Witches certainly can't afford any more home losses.

And for good measure, I heard one Panthers wag comment that it was 'obvious' King's Lynn and Ipswich wouldn't make the play-offs this season.

Oh, how nice it would be to prove the doubters wrong.

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