SE1: Ipswich 109 Hethersett 67

Ipswich 109 : Lewis Roberts 20 , Jamie Chittock 15 , Joshua Brooke 15 , Ashley Hill 12, Charlie Rumbold 11 , Leon Mower 10, Dan Knights 10, Richard Williamson 9, Jordan Stant 7 .

Hethersett 67 : Olly Riley 13 , Dan Chambers 12, Lee Grange 11 , Danielle Riley 9, Olly Buxton 9 , Dave Chambers 7, Mel Perkins 7 .

Referee : Harley Hamill (Norfolk ) .

The sun shone down on the Whitton Raceway and with the home team geared up for a tough encounter from their Norfolk neighbours Hethersett. The home team had already pencilled in Hethersett as their main threat to their South East crown, and were left a little disappointed to see the away team arrive with only seven riders at their disposal ,with Hethersett having to call upon the evergreen Mel Perkins .

The message was loud and clear that the home team wouldn’t be pulling any punches and were going to put the match to bed as soon as they possibly could and that was noticeable after the opening two heats as Ipswich raced into a 14 to 6 lead. Firstly Chittock/Rumbold saw off the challenge of Grange/Buxton. The young Hethersett rider looked to be the pick of the Hethersett team and deserved more than the nine points he scored as he showed off some impressive passing . In heat two Roberts /Williamson were too much for Perkins/D.Riley as they secured another 7-3 .

A shared heat in three saw dad and son combination out think the young Hill as he got himself caught on the outside and no place to go. Heat four saw young Buxton out on his own against Chittock/Mower and the Ipswich pairing had little trouble in gaining the upper hand and comfortbly saw off the the challenge .

Heat five saw Ipswich drop their first and only heat to Grange / O.Riley – another Hethersett rider who looks in great shape and was very impressive all afternoon with his never say die attitude, his score of 13+2 a good return for his efforts .

Heat six gave Ipswich another 7-3, with Ashley Hill attoning for his earlier heat by winning the heat followed by team mate Brooke. Heat seven Rumbold was replaced by Stant to partner Chittock and the home team riders were too strong for the Chambers ( twins). Chittock was to go on to secure five second places and in the process five bonus points 15+5 and is starting to mature as all complete rider showing that he can act as the holding rider and its not all about his gating prowess .

Ipswich continued to dominate in heats eight and nine with 6-4 in favour of Roberts/Williamson then
Brooke/Mower 7-3 wrapping a 23 point advantage by half time .

If Hethersett thought that the home team might take their foot off the gas that was simply disspelled in the opening heat with Ipswich’s young guns Hill /Knights getting the home team off to the perfect start with another 7-3. Heats eleven and twelve went the way of the home club 7-3 on both occasions.

Heat thirteen saw the first of two exclusions, firstly Brooke for forcing Buxton onto the centre green , then in the re run with Hethersett having the advantage Buxton was excluded for turning right on Hill while sitting in a 7-2 position .

The rest of the match went the much the way of the home team sharing two heats and winning the other three. For Ipswich Lewis Roberts will be pleased with his twenty point maximum from five grid four starting positions. Knights, Hill and Rumbold dont look out of place in this company and all gave an good account of themselves ,with the management looking to rotate his young stars during the season the future looks bright indeed.

My only concern as the Ipswich side grows stronger with every passing
season with only two matches in the Suffolk club has faced teams down on riders in their opening fixtures which doesn’t make for a good completive matches thus giving it a one sided look which is not good for Ipswich or the sport in this region . With Blakenham and London struggling for numbers while Kesgrave and Norwich have numbers but are not ready to take on the Ipswich squad at this present time , are Ipswich becoming victims of their own success?