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Match Date: Thursday, June 15, 2017

Ipswich 56 - Bandits 37

SGB Championship

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Ipswich "Tru7.com Witches" 56
Olympus Marquees Berwick Bandits (Powered by Mike Hope, Wooler) 37
SGB Championship

A patched up set of Berwick Bandits made the long trip to the Ipswich Witches last night armed with three guests and rider replacement to cover two injuries, one appointment on the Grand Prix qualification stage and one with is Premiership club, but after a poor start kept face with the three guests doing all what might have been expected of them.

Berwick have had a tough season, especially away from home and so it continued after a Heat One 4-2 to the home side, Jye Etheridge put on a 15 metre handicap after a tape infringement but he did manage to pass his guest reserve partner, Alfie Bowtel mid race as Nathan Greaves and Connor Mountain took the five for Ipswich taking the score to 9-3.

With Berwick 18-6 down after four races, team manager Gary Havelock places Nick Morris' guest replacement, Sam Masters on a tactical ride for double points in Heat Five, but it was Justin Sedgmen who led early on only for Master to blast under him off bend two to motor on for the six-point win by a mile in a Bandits' 3-6 narrowing the home lead to 21-12.

However in Heat Six the home maximums returned  with Danny King and Cameron Heeps, the latter whom shot between skipper Kevin Doolan and Etheridge to go 26-13 ahead while things looked to be improving in Heat Eight as the Berwick guests Ben Morley and Bowtel led from the gate, but Heeps hit he gas hard and swooped high and wide round the whole field going from last to first off bend two in the 3-3 taking the score to 32-19.

Two more shared 3-3s followed, Heat 10's after Heeps fell on the fourth bend of the second lap resulting in his exclusion from the re-run which went comfortably to King over David Howe but Master did it again in the 11th passing Rory Schien at speed down the back straight of the opening lap, and with Morley (who had lost his steel shoe during the first lap) passing Mountain off bend four of the first lap Berwick took a rare 2-4 to narrow the gap to 11 points.

Howe pushed Sedgmen all the way throughout a good Heat 12, especially hard at the end, settling for second in a 4-2 before Heat 13 came up with another 4-2 won by King  after he passed Masters off the heat's second bend.

Doolan put massive pressure on Newman in Heat 14 almost getting the Witch on the line in another 4-2, the same score as Heat 15 won by Sedgmen as Masters passed Newman down the back straight in a last moment of jubilation for the travelling Berwick fans. 

Team manager Gary Havelock said shortly afterwards: "Its always disappointing to lose any match, but I've seen better teams at full strength come here and love by more!

"We did better than our last visit and that's a good thing, especially with the patched-up side, which is never ideal but our guest were great and Sam Masters is superb!. Ben Morley and Aflie Bowtel did a good job for us and looked in good shape and that Morley lad has a decent future in the sport I'm sure.

"We lost ground early on and were 18-6 behind but in the middle half of the match I think we were one up on them over the same heats, so despite the score we held our own well and it wasn't a disgraceful show at all.

"David did well and Kevin was right in there all the time so its disappointing but it could have been a lot worse!"

Individual Riders' Score Chart:

Ipswich "Tru7.com Witches" 56

Danny King (c) 3,3,3,3 = 12
Cameron Heeps 1,2*,3,Fx = 6+1
Justin Sedgmen 3,2,Fx,3,3 = 11
Kyle Newman 2*,1*,3,3,1 = 10+2
Rory Schlein 3,3,2,1 = 9
Connor Mountain (r) 2*,0,0,1 = 3+1
Nathan Greaves (r) 3,1,0,1 = 5

Olympus Marquees Berwick Bandits (Powered by Mike Hope, Wooler) 37

Sam Masters (guest) 2,6^,3,2,2 = 15
Ben Morley (guest) 0,0,1*,2,1 = 4+1
David Howe 1,2,2,2 = 7
Lewis Bridger - Rider replacement
Kevin Doolan (c) 2,1,2,0,2,0 = 7
Jye Etheridge (r) 1,0,0,1*,0 = 2+1
Alfie Bowtel (r) 0,0,1*,1*,0 = 2+2