Ipswich Witches cast Edinburgh Monarchs aside in tonight’s Championship League speedway encounter at Foxhall Heath.
The Witches ran out winners 53-37 but Monarchs certainly did not disgrace themselves and battled hard all the way thanks to a stunning display from guest star Mason Campton, who replaced skipper Erik Riss who was sidelined after suffering concussion at Newcastle last weekend.
It was only in the last three heats that Monarchs folded.
Monarchs boss John Campbell said: “Everything that could go wrong went against us and it was disappointing to lose so heavily in the end. I thought at one stage we might get a point or better but it wasn’t to be.”
Ipswich used the rider replacement facility for their injured German star Michael Hartel and lost Danny King after two rides with a re-occurence of an arm injury.
Monarchs got off to a decent start by sharing the opening heat. Ipswich and former Monarchs star Rory Schlein won the race but Ricky Wells and Joel Andersson, who was seeing the circuit for the first time, kept Connor Mountain in last place for a share of the spoils.
And Monarchs shocked the Ipswich support by grabbing a shock 5-1 in the heat two reserves race when Max Ruml, also making his debut at Ipswich, and Coty Garcia outpaced Mountain and partner Danyon Hume to spring into an early 8-4 lead.
Alas, it proved short lived, when Ipswich hit back with a 5-1 of their own through Cameron Heeps and Nico Covatti to square things 9-9 after three races. Josh Pickering retired on lap four and Mark Riss appeared to be having bike problems.
Covatti and Heeps grabbed their second 5-1 of the match for Ipswich in heat five to take the lead for the first time, 17-13. Wells fell off on the third lap.
Campton, who won heat four getting a flyer from the tapes which the referee chose to ignore, claimed his second win in the sixth race and, with Garcia in third, this 4-2 cut the Witches lead to just two points, 19-17.
A second 4-2 from Riss and Pickering in the next race saw Monarchs square the match, 21-21, but Ipswich regained the lead in heat eight with a 5-1 from Covatti and Hume after Andersson fell on the first lap and now led 26-22, but Ruml chased hard and got close to Hume.
Campton was proving a brilliant choice of guest for Monarchs and won his third race victory in heat nine and with Garcia mopping up third spot, this 4-2 put Monarchs within touching distance of their hosts, only two points down again.
Riss gated in the tenth race but packed up on the third lap gifting Ipswich a 4-2 to inch them four points in front once more, 32-28, which became a six-point lead with another 4-2 in the next heat.
Monarchs then gave Campton a tactical substitute outing in heat 12 and the Aussie came up trumps again with a fourth race win for a 4-2 which cut Monarchs’ arrears to four points again, 38-34. Pickering finished third for a point.
But Campton’s colours were lowered in heat 13 when he was on the receiving end of an Ipswich 5-1 which pushed the home side eights points clear. And Monarchs yielded their ‘usual’ 5-1 to Ipswich in the second-last race which clinched the match points for them.
Ipswich made it three 5-1’ on the trot in the final race for in the end a comfortable victory.
Ipswich: Covatti 17, Schlein 12, Heeps 10, King 4, Hume 6, Mountain 4.
Monarchs: Campton 13, Garcia 6, Pickering 5, Riss 4, Wells 4, Ruml 3, Andersson 2.