MATCH REPORT: Aces make light work of Eagles

Ipswich welcomed back Leon Mower and Jamie Chittock yesterday, who had been missing for some weeks due to personal circumstances. The Eagles looked to have a strong squad to face unbeaten league leaders Wednesfield.

The match on paper looked the makings of a cracking one and for the home team a close encounter, but for one reason or the other, it just did not materialise, as Wednesfield took total control from start to finish. The home team made so many unforced errors, it turned into a one way traffic as the away side took a more than comfortable win than expected.

The league leaders look a team full of confidence from one to eight, where as Ipswich at the moment look the complete opposite, with moral low and although they never threw in the towel, you could see the confidence slowly draining away from the home team. The home side won only one heat advantage, which is so unlike them, especially at home. In truth their home form hadn’t been that bad in performances this season, if not in results. Not having a settled team from match to match hasn’t helped either, so partnerships can’t be formed.

Having now ridden against the top two in recent weeks, it is this reporter’s personal opinion that Wednesfield look the more likely winners of this years Elite league title. With so many options to call upon and a greater depth in their squad than Sheffield, who won’t give up their own ambitions of winning the title themselves, but on this showing the current leaders are impressive unit.

Wednesfield had six out of squad who posted double figure, with the pick of the bunch being Bobby McMillan, closely followed by Lee Aris, who looked very sharp. While the Aces’ two reserves, Matt Smith and Ricki Johnson amassed thirty points between them, giving the away team a solid platform to build on.

For the home team, Jamie Chittock looked in fine form, given he has been out for such along time while becoming a dad (Editors note: congrats Jamie!), youngster Matt Hill also impressed in his two heats scoring seven points. Ipswich travel to Horspath next, another team they have never beaten and will be hoping for a little bit of good fortune will go their way.

Ipswich Eagles 75
Ashley Hill 2, Charlie Rumbold 8, Leon Mower 4, Josh Brooke 11+1, Lewis Roberts 6, Adam Peck 13, Dan Knights 7, Jamie Chittock 14, Richard Fellgett 3, Matt Hill 7

Wednesfield Aces 103
Mark Griffiths 4, Lee Aris 12+1, Paul Heard 16+1, Bobby McMillan 14, Ben Mould 14+1, Chris Jewkes 9+1, Matt Smith 15, Rikki Johnson 15+1, Lee Kemp 4, Carl Parfitt DNR

Referee – Mike Legge

Elite League Combination

Ipswich went into this combination fixture looking to be the first team to beat Wednesfield this season, in the past it always been a close run match between these two teams and today didn’t disappoint, with either side unwilling to give an inch in a hotly contested match, with the result always going down to the last heat.

Ipswich were giving away seven penalty points, but were confident that they had the riders to pull it back, even though Wednesfield could call upon Welsh international Mark Winwood and Lee Kemp, who has been in superb form this year, not just for the combination team but the first team as well and looked good yesterday riding for Scotland in the Home Internationals.

Ipswich had their strongest line up for some time, with captain Richard Fellgett, Matt Hill, Dan Knights and the ever improving Pierce Bacon to call upon. The home team got of to a great start with Bacon and Fellgett securing a 6-4. This was followed by four shared heats, as Wednesfield looked to protect their advantage. Heat six, and a 7-2 to the home side with pairing Bacon and Fellgett, after Parfitt was excluded for forcing the home rider over the inside line and now the home team had drew level with their opponents as they lead by seven. Two more shared heats were to follow.

Wednesfield hit back in heat nine, when Knights was excluded from the rerun for taking his opponent out too far from the start, leaving team mate Fraser Harris to take on Parfitt and Everiss, but this was all in vain as the away team scored a 7-2 and looked to have taken the match away from the Eagles, to put them five points up overall. Ipswich to their credit hit back straight away in very next heat, with Hill and Ben Harvey riding a sensible 6-4, which meant that they were now only three points down. Heat eleven saw Mick Aris excluded, but in the re-run a strong gate by Kemp, overpowering Fellgett off of one, reduced the damaged as Ipswich had to settle for a 5-4, which meant that they now were in touching distant of their visitors.

Heat twelve looked as if though Wednesfield had to weather the storm, when Parfitt and Everiss secured a crucial shared heat, leaving the home team to come up with a maximum to win the match. A cracking start by both home riders, Hill and Fellgett looked to have it in the bag, when Fellgett out in front clipped the outside curb, throwing him off balance. This let Hill through, but also Mark Winwood, who drove up the inside of Hill, but them seemed to obstruct the Ipswich rider, causing him to come down. Referee Mike Legge duly excluded Winwood from the re-run.

In the re-run, Kemp split the Ipswich riders and not sure if he forgot or was still under instructions from the start, turned his attentions to Fellgett, forgetting Hill in first who rode off with pace. It was only went he came round in front of the pits that he was told he had to win the race, although he managed to close down on Hill, he wasn’t able to pass with Fellgett all over his rear wheel. So the home team took the spoils with a last heat 6-3 and won the match by a single point, leaving the visitors to taste defeat for the first time and a memorable win for the young home side.

Ipswich Eagles 67
Richard Fellgett 12+2, Pierce Bacon 14, Dan Knights 7+2, Fraser Harris 8, Ben Harvey 6+1, Matt Hill 20, Alex Harvey Dnr, Reece Johnson Dnr

Wednesfield Aces ( 59+7) 66
Mark Winwood 11, Carl Winwood 7, Lee Kemp 18, Mick Aris 4+1, Carl Parfitt 8+2, Harry Everis 11+1

Referee – Mike Legge