Ipswich Witches 59 Berwick Bandits 31
Ipswich Witches – Morten Risager 13+1, Rohan Tungate 12
Berwick Bandits – Robin Aspegren 9+1, Lee Complin 8+1
FOLLOWING a major hammering by the Witches of Ipswich at home in the knockout cup last month the Berwick Bandits travelled to deepest Suffolk last Thursday, in their first of three away meetings, determined to make amends, but the Border Raiders’ new-look side found things just as tough on the road.
An engine failure for Ricky Ashworth in Heat One left the way clear for Morten Risager and Leigh Lanham to hammer in the first of several home maximums as Mat Tresarrieu and Cameron Heeps did likewise over the Bandit’s new reserve pairing of Klaus Jakobsen and a fallen Robert Branford in Heat Two taking the score to 10-2.
Lee Complin forced his way between Risager and Taylor Poole in the third on the opening lap but Risager came round him again on lap two as Robin Aspegren took Poole half a lap later in a shared 3-3, but the 5-1s to Ipswich returned in Heat four as Sebastian Alden retired from the race on the last lap whilst leading.
Ashworth was nominated for double points in Heat Five but fell on the third lap when third as Bellego took an exceptional win before Alden’s luck took another turn for the worse when he fell on lap three in the sixth again while sitting on a clear lead to possibly damage a wrist as the score lurched on to 26-10.
Races seven through nine all resulted in home maximums despite Bellego’s tactical ride for double points in Heat Eight when he too fell on lap three, remounting and falling again as everyone else completed the course, and after Nine the score was an embarrassing 41-13.
Better was to come in Heat 10 with a big win for Aspegren as Complin and Risager battled well all race with the Witch taking second in a Bandit’s 2-4 before Ashworth found his form at last to take a win in the 11th having passed Rohan Tungate during the second lap which progressed the score to 46-20.
With the match lost Complin’s win shared Heat 12 before the interval during which Alden took a trip to hospital for attention to his wrist injury with the Bandits anxiously awaiting news.
The result was well beyond doubt on a night Berwick team manager Ian Rae would prefer to forget, saying: “This was a night we didn’t get close to doing ourselves justice although with falls and engine failures to both our top men that certainly didn’t help. This is one to turn our back on and move ever onward and upward.”