Berwick Bandits 49-41 Ipswich Witches

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Berwick made it two wins out of two in the league, but they were made to work hard for their victory by Ipswich.

Despite finishing the meeting with only five riders, the Witches were only two points adrift with three races to go, and they also went into heat 15 with a chance of a losing bonus point.

But in the end they left empty handed, which some might say was undeserved for the effort they put in.

Luck wasn’t with Berwick in the early races -Kevin Doolan ground to a halt in heat one in a scoring position, and Steen Jensen was forced to do a bit of grass tracking after he was left with nowhere to go in heat four.

And with Matty Wethers being caught out by track conditions in heat three, when Cameron Heeps passed him up in the inside off the fourth bend, it was the visitors who made the better start and found themselves 10-14 in front.

Wethers made amends by passing Gino Manzares in five, a race win for Matej Kus seeing the Bandits reduce the deficit to two, but Ipswich reserve Adam Ellis made it two wins out of two in six, and with David Bellego unexpectedly at the back, a Witches’ 2-4 re-established their lead again.

Claus Vissing made it two out of two for Berwick in seven, but with Liam Carr still struggling to find his feet at PL level a 3-3 saw the score move on to 19-23.

The turning point came in heat eight when Steen Jensen and Bellego hit the front. They looked set for a comfortable 5-1 before Manzares fell on the fourth bend, picking up a lower back i jury.

The race was awarded and Bandits were back on level terms, and after a lengthy delay for medical treatment to the Californian, it was the visitors who seemed to lose their momentum as Berwick raced to another two heat maximums in nine and ten to move eight points clear at 34-26.

But Ipswich refused to be beaten and a 1-5 courtesy of the impressive Ellis and Worral in 11, when they got the better of Vissing, was followed with a 2-4 in 12 when Morten Risager took the chequered flag, and at 37-35 it looked as if the meeting was going to the wire.

A4-2 from Vissing and Doolan over Worrall and Rohan Tungate in 13 gave Bandits some breathing space at 41-37, but Ipswich were dealt another hammer blow in 14 when Heeps went wheel to wheel with Wethers for a lap. On the outside, Heeps was generating the greater speed, but on the fourth bend he got into trouble and fell heavily.

There was another delay whilst he received treatment for a shoulder injury, and in the re-run, despite another valiant effort from Ellis, Jensen and Wethers secured a 5-1 which meant Berwick were guaranteed victory.

Worrall won his only race of the night in 15 ahead of Vissing and Kus, but it was the Bandits who took all three match points.

Berwick: Vissing 12, Kuss 11, Jensen 8, Bellego 7+2, Doolan 6, Wethers 5+2, Carr 0.

Ipswich: Worrall 11+1, Ellis 10, Risager 9, Tungate 4, Hawkins 3+1, Heeps 2+1, Manzares 1+1.