Plymouth Devils lose despite best efforts of Wells and Gathercole
Plymouth Devils...41 Ipswich Witches...51
PLYMOUTH Devils lost to Ipswich Witches in a League Cup clash at St Boniface Arena last night in a meeting that meant absolutely nothing to either team.
The match had been postponed earlier in the season because of territorial rain, but by the time the meeting was re-run Ipswich had already qualified for the semi-finals and Devils hadn't.
The downbeat nature of the meeting was reflected by a sparse crowd that struggled to half fill the arena.
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Devils were up against it from the start as top riders Ben Barker and Ryan Fisher were racing elsewhere.
However, American Ricky Wells, once of Plymouth Devils fame, was called in as a guest from Sheffield Tigers to fill in at least one of the blanks.
Devils used rider replacement as cover for Fisher, which meant his team-mates had to race the heats the American would have ridden had he been there.
The home team were left with little chance of winning when they lost another rider, this time Dane Nicki Glanz, who had injured himself in a crash at Redcar on Thursday night, and complained of being unable to breath properly.
With Glanz gone, Devils were totally out-gunned, and only Wells and Cory Gathercole were able to stem the Witches attack.
The final score of a 10 point deficit could have been so much worse had Wells not picked up 16 points, including one magnificent ride which saw him grab a first place after a brave lunge around the outside of a Witches opponent in heat 10.
Devils: Ricky Wells (G) 16, James Holder 1, R/R for Ryan Fisher, Todd Kurtz 3+1, Cory Gathercole 15+2, Nicki Glanz 2 (withdrawn), Robert Ksiezak 4.
Ipswich: Leigh Lanham 9+2, Rohan Tungate 8, Kevin Doolan 10+1, Morten Risager 11, R/R for Dakota North, Matt Tresarrieu, Cameron Heeps 5+2