Witches 50 Aces 40: Super Ipswich back on top

Erik Riss chasing Max Fricke in heat four.

Erik Riss chasing Max Fricke in heat four. - Credit: Steve Waller - stephenwaller.com

Ipswich Witches went back to the top of speedway's Premiership table after a 50-40 win over Belle Vue Aces at Foxhall Stadium.

The home side started strongly and were 10 points ahead after just three heats. But, led by Aussie Grand Prix star, Max Fricke, who won three heats on the bounce in races four to six, the Manchester side kept in it.

How it all unfolded at Foxhall... race by race

The Witches didn't help themselves making numerous errors out track, but it showed how strong a team they are capable of being as they always hit back when the Aces threatened.

Troy Batchelor led the way in the score charts for Ipswich, finishing with aplomb with four unbeaten rides after an unsteady first two.

Jason Doyle was his usual solid self, while Danny King and Danyon Hume both impressed.

Jason Doyle leading the way in the opening heat.

Jason Doyle leading the way in the opening heat. - Credit: Steve Waller - stephenwaller.com

“I’d say it is our best home performance of the season and it is obviously our biggest home win," said Witches boss Ritchie Hawkins.

"There is still room for improvement there. Erik, Ben and Danny have left the meeting disappointed and that is half of our team. They are disappointed with things they could improve on or do better. It was a good win against a good team, but I still think there are a lot of areas to improve on."

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It was a sticky night on the Heath and a healthy crowd was in attendance to watch two of the biggest names in the sport, both enjoying good seasons.

Doyle made a terrific start from the outside in heat one as Ben Barker pass Zach Cook to join his partner at the front as the Witches made a great start with a maximum 5-1.

And it was 10-2 a heat later as Erik Riss gated and Hume passed Cook on the first lap. It was a great start by the Witches and just what they would have been looking for.

Witches promoter Chris Louis and team manager Ritchie Hawkins.

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

King made it three Witches heat wins on the bounce in heat three, as the Witches stretched their early lead to 10. Max Fricke was the Aces first heat winner in a drawn race four, before the Aces hit back in style with Fricke winning again as Matej Zagar picked off first Barker and then King on the line.

It was back to Ipswich leading by six now and Fricke incredibly won his third race on the trot, lowering Doyle's colours, as the Aces fought back.

Batchelor and Riss gated on a 5-1 in heat seven, but Batchelor drifted wide and impeded Riss, before drifting wide again as Brady Kurtz nipped through for the win.

Max Fricke leading Jason Doyle in heat six.

Max Fricke leading Jason Doyle in heat six. - Credit: Steve Waller - stephenwaller.com

The Witches stretched their lead to 10 as the impressive Hume gated again, with Batchelor holding off the Aces attentions to tuck in alongside his partner.

Fricke passed Barker to make it four out of four for him, before Kurtz and Brennan passed Riss in the next. With the Aces still 10 down Fricke came in for a tactical ride, but Batchelor rode a dream race to pass Zagar and head the Aces pairing.

It was a crucial heat win by the Ipswich man and King repeated the feat in the next.

And Ipswich clinched the meeting in style as Doyle gated and Batchelor, finishing the meeting in style, shot through Doyle and Zagar to join up with his partner as the Witches fans went wild.

Danyon Hume and Troy Batchelor on their way to a 5-1 in heat eight.

Danyon Hume and Troy Batchelor on their way to a 5-1 in heat eight. - Credit: Steve Waller - stephenwaller.com

Ipswich: Jason Doyle (3,2,3,3) =11; R/R; Danny King (3,1,2,3,0) =9; Ben Barker (2*,1,0,1*,0) =4+2; Troy Batchelor (1*,2,2*,3,2*,3) =13+3; Erik Riss (3,2,1*,0,0) =6+1; Danyon Hume (2*,1*,3,0,1) =7+2.

Belle Vue: Matej Zagar (1,2*,2,0) =5+1; R/R; Brady Kurtz (2,3,2,2,1) =10; Tom Brennan (0,0,1,1*,3) =5+1; Max Fricke (3,3,3,3,1*,1,2) =16+1; Zack Cook (0,1,0,0) =1; Norick Blödorn (0,0,0,1*,2*) =3+2

*denotes bonus point

Heat details

1. Doyle, Barker, Zagar, Cook 5-1 56.3

2. Riss, Hume, Cook, Blodorn 10-2 58.0

3. King, Kurtz, Barker, Brennan 14-4 57.0

4. Fricke, Riss, Batchelor, Blodorn 17-7 57.7

5. Fricke, Zagar, King, Barker 18-12 58.4

6. Fricke, Doyle, Hume, Cook 21-15 57.1

7. Kurtz, Batchelor, Riss, Brennan 24-18 58.2

8. Hume, Batchelor, Brennan, Blodorn 29-19 58.2

9. Fricke, King, Barker, Cook 32-22 57.2

10. Doyle, Kurtz, Brennan, Riss 35-25 57.5

11. Batchelor, Zagar, Fricke, Riss 38-28 57.2

12. King, Kurtz, Blodorn, Hume 41-31 57.7

13. Doyle, Batchelor, Fricke, Zagar 46-32 57.4

14. Brennan, Blodorn, Hume, Barker 47-37 57.9

15. Batchelor, Fricke, Kurtz, King 50-40 57.7

Witches 3 pts. Aces 0 pts.


Top Witch: Troy Batchelor. Had the most unsettling for first couple of rides, but came so good near at the end to clinch it for Witches.


Premiership

                       P    Pts.

Ipswich          12    25

Belle Vue      12     23

Sheffield        10    23

Wolves          12     21

King's Lynn    10    12

Peter'boro     12    10