Location: Ipswich Cycle Speedway, Suffolk
Event: 27 October 2012
Report: Sharon Stant /Snowdon Sports
Leicester were the visitors to Ipswich in their last home fixture this season in a bottom of the table clash in the BCTG Elite League on Saturday.
The home team had already been dealt a blow with the loss of Josh Brooke due to an accident, and with senior riders missing once again due to work commitments and non-availability they looked to promote from within with three combinations riders stepping in to bolster the squad, which had seven riders aged 20 or under - and with three being Under-16s.
The Leicester team on the other hand fielded a world champion and several ex-British champions as well as plenty of experience.
Right from the off Leicester meant business and after an unlucky exclusion to Chittock, from the re-run they saw off Mower to claim a 7-2 win - not the start the Suffolk side had dreamt of. But to their credit they secured a fine 6-4 in the next heat with Roberts/Cossey getting the better of the Howells/Pike partnership.
Heat three saw Marchant/Burns brush aside Clark/Stant 7-3 to open up a seven-point lead the early signs looking ominous. But Ipswich came back and managed to share the next two heats, Leicester then took control of the match with 7-3 wins in heats six and seven and suddenly there was daylight between the two teams.
A shared result in heat 8 before some more joy for the Suffolk side in heat 9 when youngsters Clark and Hill secured a 6-4 over Howells/Whitehead, leaving the home team trailing at the break by 13.
After the break Ipswich got off to a great start when Fellgett collected his third of four heat wins for the afternoon and was well supported by Stant managed to edge out Pike/Doughty 6-4.
Ipswich's luck wasn't with them in the next heat when Cossey ended up in the fence and was unable to continue in the re-run which meant Marchant/Burns collected a comfortable 6-4 win over Roberts/Hill as the replacement rider.
The rest of the half Leicester were able to pick off the spirited challenge of this plucky Suffolk squad but in the end the Midlanders had just a little too much know-how for their opponents on the day.
Ipswich will finish the season bottom of the league but that’s nothing to be ashamed of with the progress they are making. Who knows, maybe with some new faces next season they will continue their climb up the table. And with the likes of Roberts who can boast he beat the World champion twice today, Fellgett (who top scored for the Eagles) and Clark and Hill getting another taste, the future is looking bright and healthy.
In the Combination fixture, both teams had to give away penalties points before the start, and this made for an interesting encounter with both teams riding well.
Ipswich were looking to close out their season and remain unbeaten at home, and at one stage it wasn't going to plan as at the halfway stage Leicester held a slender lead on the day by three points.
But like in many cases this season the home team seem to be able to rally in the second half and in the remaining six heats went on to claim five heat advantages and finally overcome their visitors by 12 points, 70-58, with the penalties points added making the final score 90-73.
Ipswich 78: Richard Fellgett 18, Lewis Roberts 16, Jordan Stant 9, Jamie Chittock 7, Leon Mower 7, Leigh Cossey 7, Will Clark 7, Matt Hill 7.
Leicester 101: Craig Marchant 17, Jason Ashford 16, Lukasz Nowacki 16, Phil Howells 14, Dan Pike 14, Kev Burns 14, Nicky Whitehead 5, Ashley Doughty 5.
Referee: Terry Ashford (Suffolk).
Ipswich (70+20) 90: Matt Hill 16, Will Clark 13, Daniel Knights 12, Terry Gilbert-Rolfe 11, Lauren Jacobs 8, Fraser Harris 7, Jack Chaplin 3.
Leicester (58+15) 73: Liam Wood 13, Dan Pike 11, Lauren Davies 9, Liam Doughty 8, Ashley Doughty 8, Liam Davies 7.
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