MATCH REPORT: Stockport through to finals day

Unfortunately I have to start this match report with the shocking and very sad news of the death of Mr. Jim Peck, who passed away suddenly on Saturday, which has left the entire Ipswich club numb with a feeling of disbelief and our thoughts at this time go out to all the Peck family.

This was made all the remarkable as Adam Peck still decided to ride and lead his team in yesterday’s clash with Stockport in which alone showed bravery and much courage giving the circumstances.

The match started very much as you would have expected, with the home team leading by eight points after the first three heats and without this season top scorer, Josh Brooke, who was sidelined through injury. Stockport are not top of their league for no reason and secured a vital 7-3 in heat five to half the difference. Ipswich’s response was to opened up a six point cushion in the next heat. 6-4 to the home team and with even suffering two exclusions in heats seven and nine, went into the break four points to the good.

The first half had been a tough and bruising contest in difficult conditions on a rain soaked heavy track which made it a great  leveller, but this had nothing on what was to happen after the break, as riders frustrations started to come to the surface. This was evident in the next heat with Eaton and Mower. The Stockport rider appeared to not give any room to Mower as they crossed the line, the Ipswich rider came off his bike and clearly upset by this let referee Mike Legge know, which resulted in a red card for the Ipswich rider and handing Stockport an advantage.

With the Ipswich rider now having to sit out the rest of the match, and with the visitors only three points behind they sensed they had a chance of pulling off a shock result. Ipswich did all they could to limit the damage but as the match continued, the more and more the home felt that they weren’t getting any decisions go their way. The match was now at boiling point, by this point at heat sixteen, with the score sheet showing Ipswich with a slender lead of four points and with four penalty points against them the teams were level.

Heat seventeen, Ipswich could only field one rider and though Adam Peck won the heat, it was Stockport who were to go into the last heat knowing that a shared heat in eighteen would be enough to secure their place in the semi-final. Even this heat there was a sense of hardship when one of the Stockport rider took his opponent to the extreme of the track, forcing the Ipswich rider to come down with no room to ride. Much to the disbelief of the home team it was allowed to continue sparking outrage from the home side, allowing Stockport to cement their path into the next round. This in turn caused some ugly scenes at the end, on which had been a fantastic efforts by both sets of riders under difficult racing conditions and difficult circumstances given the events in the past 24 hours. In the aftermath its understood that another Ipswich rider allegedly received a red card. It is not the reporter’s place to make comments or to judge the referee on his performance, because they have a difficult enough job, so I will leave it to those who were there to make their own judgements.

But may I be the first to congratulate Stockport on their gutsy performance and wish them all the very best in the semi finals.

Ipswich Eagles 85 (-4 penalty points for a red card)
Jamie Chittock 16 (6) , Lewis Roberts 15+1 (6), Charlie Rumbold 15+1 (6), Richard Fellgett 13 (4), Adam Peck 12 (6), Ashley Hill 11+2 (5), Leon Mower 4 (3), Daniel Knights 3 (3)

Stockport 86
Ben Higham 15+2 (5), Jack Lush 14+1(6), Terry Norman 14 (6), Jake Read 12+2 (6), Dylan Ratcliffe 11+2 (6), Chris Eaton 10+3(6), Matthew Lush 9+2(6), Joe Pickford 1 (1)

Referee – Mike Legge (Dorset)

Report by Ipswich


May we also take this opportunity extend our deep sympathies to Adam and the Peck family for their tragic loss at the weekend.
33/18 News team