MATCH REPORT: Strong win for the stars
Both these teams came into this fixture looking to fight for the league runners-up spot, with Ipswich hoping to get back to winning ways after their tight home loss to Poole last time out, while the Stars were looking for revenge after their away loss at Ipswich earlier on in the season & to continue their home form that had propelled them into the running for second place. To do that, they made three changes to the side that won against Newport, Pawel Idzioreck, Jake Read & Kyle Holland all returning to the side in place of Gavin Parr, Richard Hudson & Adam Watson. For Ipswich, the only change was the replacement of Richard Fellget with Ben Harvey, in their young looking side.
The match started with a well worked 5-5 as Brooke held Angell to fourth, before the away side took an early lead as Zareba was excluded for excessive force, Hewitson claiming second place behind Roberts in the re-run. However, Sheffield took the lead straight back as the Idzioreck-McMillan pairing took a 7-3 off the tapes from the Mower-Chittock pairing. Angell had to pass Hill for a 5-5 in heat four, and then Brooke slid off chasing Grimes to put the Stars five up with a Read-Grimes maximum heat advantage in heat five. Heat six saw the Idzioreck-McMillan pairing way out in front, before Roberts inexplicably fell untouched, bringing down his partner Rumbold, leading to an all-four being called back for the restart. However, the Sheffield pairing once again made no mistake, taking a 7-3 straight from the tapes. Heat seven saw a further heat advantage for the Stars, this time from the Angell-Grimes pairing over the Chittock-Mower pairing, while Knights was excluded in heat eight after clashing with Hewitson, Zareba diving up Brooke’s inside in the re-run for a Sheffield 6-3. Now fourteen points behind, Ipswich claimed the inside gates going into the last heat before the interval, McMillan being made to pass Hill for a drawn heat, to leave the scores at the interval Sheffield 51, Ipswich 37.
Idzioreck & Read took a tapes to finish 7-3 back out after half-time, the Sheffield onslaught showing no signs of dropping, until Read moved at the gates in heat eleven in his second race on the trot, Zareba passing Chittock in the restart, allowing Mower to go through to win for an Ipswich 6-3. Angell was excluded when for a last bend pass on Roberts in heat twelve when Grimes won from the gates, before two further 6-4s for the Stars followed, from the Idzioreck-McMillan and the Hewitson-Holland pairings over the Brooke-Knights and the Mower-Harvey pairings, the home side leading now by eighteen points. Hill gates well in heat fifteen to lead, but an untimely slip while out on front let Zareba & Read round to take a maximum heat advantage, a feat the McMillan-Grimes pairing could not achieve in heat sixteen as Knights slipped to allow McMillan round to win. Ipswich looked to have a 6-4 in the cards in heat seventeen as Angell trailed Rumbold in fourth while Hewitson sat in second, but the Scotsman passed Chittock for a drawn heat. In the final race, Mower was excluded after crossing the inside line when passed by Zareba, leaving Brooke to hold Idzioreck in the re-run while Zareba won, finishing the match with final scores of Sheffield 101, Ipswich 74.
For the home side, Pawel Idzioreck & Bobby McMillan were both in formidable form, each losing just once to Josh Brooke, while Myke Grimes’ gating was superb throughout & Damian Zareba will feel aggrieved not you have scored mire after an unlucky exclusion. Josh Brooke & Charlie Rumbold were the pick of the bunch for the Eagles, who were always going to struggle with just two race wins in the whole match, and those when there were just three riders in the race. The Stars will hope they can finish the season as they’re currently riding as they fight for second place, while a second loss on the trot will be a concern for Ipswich as they continue their bid for the runner’s up position.
Andy Angell 10 (5), Myke Grimes 15+1 (5), Damian Zareba 15 (5), Mikey Hewitson 13 (4), Bobby McMillan 16+2 (5), Pawel Idzioreck 18 (5), Kyle Holland 4 (3), Jake Read 10+2 (4), Niall Morton DNR
Daniel Knights 9+1 (5), Josh Brooke 12+1 (5), Charlie Rumbold 11+2 (5), Lewis Roberts 9+1 (5), Leon Mower 10 (5), Jamie Chittock 11 (5), Matt Hill 7 (3), Ben Harvey 5 (3)
Referee: Graham Lush (Manchester)
Elite League Combination
The combination fixture looked like it would be a tense affair as the two sides lined up, but any hopes of that were quickly expelled as Harris suffered a nasty injury in heat three when falling, to leave his partner Roberts alone for his remaining races. An exciting match still did follow as the two side traded blows, but in the end it was Sheffield who claimed the comfortable victory, by 69 to 57 points without penalty points, 100 to 72 with. For the Stars, Niall Morton, Kyle Holland & Jake Read all put in strong performances, while Roberts, Knights & Harvey impressed for the away side. And our best wishes go out to Harris that he has a speedy recovery.
Niall Morton 13+4 (5), Vicky Brown 10 (3), Kyle Holland 10+3 (4), James Bunting 11+1 (4), Mason Phillips 8 (4), Ed Morton 5+2 (3), Jake Read 12 (3), plus 31 penalty points
Daniel Knights 17 (5), Alex Harvey 5+1 (4), Matt Hill 9 (5), Ben Harvey 12+2 (4), Lewis Roberts 14 (4), Fraser Harris 0 (1), plus 15 penalty points
Referee: Dave Shoat (Sheffield)