MATCH REPORT: Ipswich keep title challenge on track

Ipswich welcomed Coventry to Whitton raceway, with the Midlands team missing a few of their stand out riders but still packing a strong unit including some of the North’s best riders.

The first heat went the home teams way, with Baldock being excluded for moving at the starts, Myke Grimes doing well to split the home pairing. The next three heats were shared, as Coventry worked hard to keep the Eagles big hitters at bay.

In heat 5, Ash Hill scored the first 7-3 of the day with Man of the Match reserve Dan Chambers, and Brooke/Mower followed this up with a 6-4 from the outside grids, after Brooke pulled off a lovely pass on Chris Parish on the first bend.

Chadwick/Hill turned the screw scoring a 7-2 after Jake Read moved at the tapes, before Grimes was also given his marching orders, a little harshly, for cutting across Jamie Chittock  on the final bend after Charlie Rumbold had pulled off one of his trademark stunning passes.

Another 7-3 before the interval and Ipswich went in 23 points to the good.

Coventry were defiant but Ipswich took control of the match. Photo by Ray Andrews.

Coventry were defiant but Ipswich took control of the match. Photo by Ray Andrews.

Coventry stemmed the tide after the interval, taking two 5-5s before Ipswich had a mini meltdown in heats 13 and 14, with both Brooke and Knights being sent back to the pits for moving at the starts, Coventry using the extra man to full effect taking 7-2s in both heats.

Ipswich refocused after a mini telling off from the manager and closed out the last 4 regular heats with some well worked 5-5’s from the outside, Myke Grimes and England International, Ben Higham, taking defiant wins.

In the nominated heats and after multiple re-runs with Knights and Read not wanting to give an inch on the first bend, they finally got away, with Knights in first before his partner Brooke joined him at the front using his power to muscle round the outside of Read on the second lap.

Dan Chambers topped off a great match gating round Chris Parish to take his third heat win of the day, Ashley Hill also capping a great match to take the 4 points and leave the score at 110-83.

Ipswich's Dan Chambers was solid throughout. Photo by Ray Andrews.

Ipswich’s Dan Chambers was solid throughout. Photo by Ray Andrews.

This was a welcome win for the Eagles, who need to keep up the pressure on the other teams at the top of the table and they currently occupy joint top spot, along with the Horspath Hammers who made light work of Poole.

For the Eagles Charlie Rumbold and Jamie Chittock looked to have got their spark back with both scoring well, and Dan Knights made a solid debut taking two wins.

The man of the match however was Dan Chambers, who only dropped 1 point from his 4 rides, and is showing the kind of passion that a team need to get them over the line.

For Coventry this defeat could well mean the end of their title dreams, having now lost 3 on the bounce.

They battled hard, Myke Grimes and Ben Higham featuring prominently, while Chris Parish was also in the thick of the action. They now turn their attentions to Poole in two weeks time.

Ipswich face the daunting task of trying to tame Wednesfield at Ashmore Park.

Ipswich Eagles 110
Cody Chadwick 18+1 (5), Ash Hill 17+1 (6), Jamie Chittock 14+2 (5), Charlie Rumbold 12+2 (5), Josh Brooke 17+2 (6), Leon Mower 9+1 (5), Dan Knights 10+1 (4), Dan Chambers 13+2 (4)

Coventry 83
Myke Grimes 14+1 (5), Mike Baldock 7 (5), Adam Watson 6+1 (5), Chris Parish 16 (6), Ben Higham 16+1 (5), Jake Read 12 (6), Shaun Reynolds 4 (3), Dan Drewett 7+1 (4), Sammi Marsh 1 (1)