Witches cast a spell over Stars

King’s Lynn’s slow start at Ipswich on Bank Holiday Monday proved highly costly as they went down 52-38 in an eventful Foxhall clash.

The MacInnes Stars conceded two 5-1s and two 4-2s in the opening four races in which there were all kind of incidents and action, leaving them a mountain to climb against the strongest spearhead in the Premiership.

Emil Sayfutdinov raced to 15-point maximum for the Witches and Jason Doyle was unbeaten from four rides, but it was reserve Danyon Hume who arguably made the difference.

Hume was involved in both early 5-1s for the home side and also won Heat 2, although there was plenty of drama to get to that stage.

The home side received the benefit of an all four-back decision in Heat 1 when Hume tangled with his own team-mate Doyle, and they took a 5-1 in the re-run – whilst Stars guest Kyle Howarth found himself disqualified from Heat 2 after a three-man pile-up on the first bend.

Stand-in skipper Nicolai Klindt was the visitors’ first winner as they took two points back with a 4-2 in Heat 5, and the gap remained at ten points through a succession of shared races.

Doyle went from third to first for the Witches in Heat 6 with his team-mates Sayfutdinov and Danny King winning the next two races as the Stars packed in for the minor places on each occasion.

But when they brought Frederik Jakobsen into Heat 9 as a tactical substitute, the Dane was unable to score, with a welcome win for Michael Palm Toft at least preventing further damage.

However, the Witches virtually put the meeting to bed with a 5-1 in Heat 10 after Jakobsen found himself disqualified for a first-bend incident, whilst Rew inherited second place in the re-run when Krzysztof Kasprzak slowed on the third lap.

There was a consolation 5-1 for the Stars in Heat 12 courtesy of Howarth and Jakobsen, who made his way past King, but the Witches’ top two of Doyle and Sayfutdinov quickly redressed the situation in the next race.

Howarth added a second win in Heat 14 and the last race was also shared with Doyle not competing for Ipswich, Klindt and Jakobsen securing a 3-3 ahead of King but behind the flying Sayfutdinov.

Stars manager Alex Brady said: “I’m bitterly disappointed with the scoreline. In a local derby, the fans want to see a win first and foremost, but the bare minimum is passion and desire, and I felt that the majority showed that from Heat 5 onwards.

“We were twelve down after four races, so Heats 5-15 was just a two-point difference, which included some ‘interesting’ refereeing decisions, so we battled and competed hard – but we cannot afford to give teams a head start as we have done so often this season.

“It’s not over by any stretch, and Thursday night has to be a ‘W’ next to Stars.”

The return fixture against the Witches takes place at the Adrian Flux Arena on Thursday.

Ipswich 52: Emil Sayfutdinov 15, Jason Doyle 11+1, Danny King 10+1, Danyon Hume 8+3, Keynan Rew 7+1, Joe Thompson 1, Erik Riss r/r.

Lynn Stars 38: Nicolai Klindt 8, Frederik Jakobsen 7+2, Kyle Howarth 7+1, Thomas Jorgensen 5+1, Michael Palm Toft 5, Jason Edwards 4+1, Krzysztof Kasprzak 2+1.