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Ipswich Witches v Belle Vue Aces


Premiership Play-Off, Semi-Final, 1st Leg 2022

Foxhall Heath StadiumFoxhall Road, Ipswich, IP5 5LN

38 - 52


Date Tapes Up Competition Season
Thursday, September 29, 2022 7:30 pm Premiership Play-Off, Semi-Final, 1st Leg 2022


BELLE Vue took a giant stride towards the Premiership Grand Final with a stunning 52-38 win at Ipswich in Thursday’s first leg.

The Aces found themselves under early pressure as they dropped 9-3 down after two races but then responded in style, and piled on the agony for the Witches in the second half of the meeting.

Heat leaders Matej Zagar (12+1) and captain Brady Kurtz (11+1) led the way in a solid team effort with reserve Norick Blodorn involved in three 5-1s.

For the Witches, Jason Doyle raced to a five-ride 15-point maximum but the remainder of their top five proved unable to give the necessary support, with Rohan Tungate scoring just one point after coming to grief in Heat 3 when being passed by Zagar.

Kurtz said: “We were hoping to keep things close, but we never expected we would come away with a 14-point lead.

“There were places where we had a little bit of luck, that’s for sure, but we’re certainly not complaining about it and we’ve more than done our job at Foxhall.

“The whole team has been fantastic, and Cookie [Craig Cook] has been a great substitute for Max [Fricke], but it will all come down to Monday’s result. We fully expect Ipswich to fight back in the second leg and we’re not taking anything for granted.”

Ipswich manager Ritchie Hawkins said: “We were great for 10 laps and then after Rohan’s crash it fell to bits. We had machinery problems and that incident with Rohan.

“We have been saying it all season that we need to improve at home otherwise we will get punished, and we certainly did today.

“You could see all the signs that it should have worked, but it didn’t and even without the bad luck we were not good enough. We have said all season we need everyone to start clicking together and it has not happened again. We have had the worst night of the season with the anticipation of it being the best beforehand.”

IPSWICH 38: Jason Doyle 15, Anders Rowe 7, Danny King 6, Troy Batchelor 4+1, Aaron Summers 3+1, Paul Starke 2, Rohan Tungate 1.
BELLE VUE 52: Matej Zagar 12+1, Brady Kurtz 11+1, Tom Brennan 8, Charles Wright 7, Norick Blodorn 6+3, Craig Cook 5+1, Jye Etheridge 3.

Available here

Photo credit: JEFF HIGGOTT