On a hot Saturday afternoon, Ipswich went into this Elite league fixture looking to continue their good progress shown over the recent weeks and welcomed the Monarchs of Birmingham to Whitton raceway.
After their bright start to the season, people had started to tip the team from the Midlands to be Horspath's main competition in this year’s title race. However, they had suddenly hit a brick wall and were looking themselves to get back to winning ways after three successive defeats, seeing their title hopes disappear.
Both teams went into this match with key riders missing from their line ups. The home team were looking once again to promote from within, with call ups to Charlie Rumbold and Matthew Hill. Both of whom have impressed so far this season in the combination league. Birmingham Monarchs were missing representations from Harrold, Millward and Winwood.
Ipswich knew this was the day they could finally pick up that elusive first win of the season. In the first heat, they laid down the marker for the rest to follow and from the outside grids Brooke and Hill secured a maximum 7-3 heat win after the defenceless Wadhams had to succumb to the pressure from the Ipswich riders. Heat two brought a 5-4 to Ipswich after Widdas was excluded. Paul Heard went on to collect the first of his five heat wins and looked elegant all afternoon and was rarely trouble. Ipswich continued to pile on the pressure in heats three and four. Firstly with Chris Timms picking up the first of his three exclusions after allowing his frustrations get the better of him, resulting re run 7-2 Ipswich followed by a 7-3 in the fourth.
Heats five and six were shared ,before Ipswich finished the half on a high 7-3,6-4,and 6-4. The half time score was Ipswich 55, Birmingham 33 . The second half went very much as the first had, with the home team continuing to dominate proceedings. It wasn't until heat twelve when Birmingham finally recorded their only heat advantage. Here, the pairing of Heard and Timms scored a maximum 7-3 heat win. Ipswich went on to secure five heat advantages from the remaining six heats with the other being shared.
For Birmingham, Paul Heard looked untouchable while veteran Paul Timms worked tirelessly for the team and was never far off the pace scoring eight points whilst young Reece Winwood never once dropped his head.
Ipswich 109: Leon Mower 17, Josh Brooke 16 , Jordan Stant 16,
Jamie Chittock 16 , Lewis Roberts 12, Ashley Hill 11, Charlie Rumbold 11,
Matthew Hill 10 .
Birmingham 67: Paul Heard 20 , Marcus Wadhams 14, Paul Timms 8 ,
Steve Hodginson 6, Chris Timms 6 , Reece Winwood 5, Phil Widdas 4, Ewan Hancox 4 .