Thursday May 26, 2022
WOLVERHAMPTON saw an away win snatched from their grasp as they went down to an agonising 46-44 reverse at Ipswich.

Just as at Sheffield in the League Cup one week earlier, the Parrys International Wolves fought back from eight points down to take the advantage, and all momentum appeared to be on their side heading into a last-heat decider.

But although skipper Sam Masters had raced to five impeccable wins from five rides, and was joined in the final race by the lively Luke Becker, they were outgated by Witches duo Jason Doyle and Troy Batchelor who took the home side to a narrow victory, leaving Wolves with just one league point for their efforts.

The meeting took some time to get going after Doyle and then Masters came down on the first bend in successive attempts to run Heat 1, before at the third time of asking the Wolves skipper headed the former World Champion with Steve Worrall supplying third place.

Ipswich had supremacy at reserve and showed it with a 5-1 in Heat 2, and the home side added two further 4-2s with Becker and Nick Morris both making moves from the back to prevent maximums for the home side.

Masters and Worrall quickly brought Wolves back into contention with a 5-1 in Heat 5, but the Witches did appear to be controlling the meeting as Doyle headed up a 4-2 in Heat 6 before Danyon Hume and Troy Batchelor put them 28-20 up as they got the better of Worrall.

However, the comeback started in Heat 9 with Masters coming in as a tactical substitute and combining with Morris for a 5-1 over Danny King, and the gap narrowed to two points as Masters pulled off a fine pass over Batchelor in Heat 11, with Worrall adding third place.

Wolves were right in the contest and they levelled the scores with a 4-2 in Heat 12 as reserve Drew Kemp picked up a vital third place over Paul Starke, before Masters beat Doyle again in a shared Heat 13.

Ryan Douglas came good with his first win of the night in Heat 14 whilst Kemp shot inside Starke for third place going into the last lap with the Ipswich man falling.

That gave Wolves a 4-2 to put them ahead for the first time since Heat 1 – only for Batchelor and Doyle to conjure up a comeback of their own in the decider to leave the home side narrow victors.

Wolves manager Peter Adams said: “We did very well to get back from eight points behind to be leading with one heat to go, and in tight situations like this it’s all down to the gate choice.

“If we’d had one and three I’m certain the result would have been different, but fair play to Ipswich, they’re a strong team and we were competing today with more or less four and a half riders.

“You’re not going to win these kinds of tight matches without stronger contributions elsewhere in the team.”

Adams has also confirmed that subject to a successful comeback for his Championship club Berwick this weekend, Leon Flint will return in Monday’s eagerly awaited showdown with Sheffield at Monmore Green after a month on the injury list.

IPSWICH 46: Jason Doyle 13, Troy Batchelor 12+3, Danny King 7, Danyon Hume 6+1, Paul Starke 5+1, Ben Barker 3, Erik Riss r/r.
WOLVERHAMPTON 44: Sam Masters 16, Luke Becker 9+1, Nick Morris 6+1, Steve Worrall 5+1, Ryan Douglas 5, Drew Kemp 3, Joe Thompson 0.

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