Speedway: Ipswich 46–44 Wolves

The ‘Tru Plant’ Witches edged out the Wolverhampton Wolves 46-44 at Foxhall on Monday night, as they remained top of the Premiership table, live on BT Sport.

There was nothing to separate the two sides all evening in a tense encounter as the two teams exchanged blows throughout, but the home side dug deep without the injured Jake Allen to win by the finest of margins and continue their fantastic start to the campaign. Cameron Heeps was in stunning form for the Witches as he top scored with 15+1.

Richard Lawson won heat one from the gate as the points were shared to open proceedings. Heeps won his first race of the night in heat two ahead of Luke Becker as Ipswich guest Josh Bates rounded Ashley Morris on the opening lap to take third and hand the Witches a 4-2. It was looking good for a Witches 5-1 in heat three as Danny King and David Bellego led but the Frenchman locked up on the second turn of the second lap and fell with Kyle Howarth going down to avoid the Witches man. Bellego was excluded from the re-run that was won by King, leaving the home side 10-8 up.

Heat four was stopped with the away side on a 5-1 as Krystian Pieszczek slid off on the third turn of the first lap and Bates came off too whilst avoiding him. Pieszczek was excluded from the re-run and the away side recorded a 5-1 as Bates had bike problems on the first lap and was left behind. King won a shared heat five before Rory Schlein did the same for the away side in heat six, leaving the visitors 19-17 ahead.

The home side responded in heat seven as Heeps won and there was some hard riding from Pieszczek to shut out Scott Nicholls for second that gave the Witches a 5-1. Bates fell on the first turn of heat eight and was excluded from the re-run as the Wolves pair of Howarth and Becker took advantage to hit a maximum that put them back ahead. Heeps replaced Bellego in heat nine and it was a classic. King made the gate with Heeps trailing at the back. The Ipswich reserve soon came under Morris for third before a fantastic battle for second began. Heeps was riding the air fence almost as he built up speed around the outside as Schlein began to look over his shoulder. The Ipswich man wound it on one more time on the first and second turns of the final lap to squeeze around the outside of the Wolves captain on the back straight as he secured second place for a 5-1 that had Foxhall on their feet. That maximum put the Witches ahead at 28-26.

The Wolves responded immediately in heat 10 as Nicholls and Schlein put them back in front with a 5-1. The two sides continued to trade blows and in heat 11 the home team went back in front as Heeps won and Pieszczek saw off Sam Masters for second for a 5-1 to Ipswich. Heeps came in for Bates as Nicholls moved at the start of heat 12 but it was somehow let go by the referee and he went onto win but had to work hard to see off the fast-charging Heeps in second. A shared heat left the Witches 37-35 up and set up a tense finale.

The Witches gave themselves some breathing space with a 5-1 in heat 13 as Chris Harris won and Pieszczek again got the better of Masters for second coming under the Wolves number one at the start of the second lap. Peter Adams brought in Schlein as a tactical substitute in heat 14 and he won the heat but once again had to have eyes in the back of his head to fend off the challenge from Heeps in second. With Nicholls third it meant a Wolves 4-2 that set up a last heat decider. Schlein won heat 15 but with King ahead of Nicholls for second, a 4-2 was not enough for the visitors as the Witches recorded a 46-44 win.

Report Henry Chard