5 things we learned about Ipswich Witches last night
- 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.
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.
LET'S HEAR IT FOR JAKE
Jake Allen has been the Witches most consistent rider this season so far.
- 1 Get lost in two sunflower mazes at this Suffolk farm
- 2 Rise in West Suffolk Covid rate one of the highest in England
- 3 Seven of the best places to get ice cream in Suffolk
- 4 Plans for over 170 new homes near Bury St Edmunds
- 5 Sports clubs can get share of £350k pot to restart after lockdown
- 6 Work begins on new shared police and fire station in Stowmarket
- 7 Schools still face uncertainty over Covid for new term
- 8 Dry day for weather - but rain set to return
- 9 Classic car events - were you at these vintage vehicle rallies?
- 10 Mapped: Check the Covid rate in your Suffolk neighbourhood
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.
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."
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.
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.