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Kings of Anglia Issue 8 Magazine Offer

Witches move into top four with draw at Panthers

PUBLISHED: 20:19 05 August 2018 | UPDATED: 09:34 06 August 2018

Nico Covatti was in fine form for the Ipswich Witches in their draw at the Peterborough Panthers. Picture: STEVE WALLER

Nico Covatti was in fine form for the Ipswich Witches in their draw at the Peterborough Panthers. Picture: STEVE WALLER

© Copyright Stephen Waller

Championship

Peterborough Panthers 45

Ipswich Witches 45

The Ipswich Witches picked up two league points at the East of England Arena today, following a battling draw against Peterborough Panthers in the Championship, writes Steve Waller.

Rory Schlein played a vital role for the Ipswich Witches. Picture: STEVE WALLERRory Schlein played a vital role for the Ipswich Witches. Picture: STEVE WALLER

After 14 pulsating heats, with no more than a few points separating the sides, both teams were locked level on 42 points, going into the deciding heat fifteen.

And although Michael Palm Toft made the start, to race away for the win, the Witches pairing of Rory Schlein and Nico Covatti did well to keep home star Scott Nicholls at the back and claim the draw.

On a well prepared track there was much to cheer for the visitors, who used Adam Ellis as a guest for Danny King, with the former Witch picking up 9 points.

Schlein piled into the fence in the opener, in a tight first corner and trailed home last in the re-run, with Simon Lambert winning from an improved Cameron Heeps.

A Panthers 5-1 in the next saw the Suffolk side fall six points behind, but they immediately pulled a couple back with Covatti winning from Palm Toft.

Following a shared heat four, won by Ellis, it was all level after the fifth, with Schlien putting his first race fall behind him to win from teammate Heeps.

Three shared heats followed before the deadlock was broken in the ninth, with Palm Toft defeating Ellis, as the home side went into a narrow two point lead and then Nicholls finally got the better of Covatti, in a spectacular heat ten battle, but with Riss away at the front it was all square again at 30 points apiece.

Panthers guest Ben Barker won from Schlein in the next and then Covatti banged in a win in the twelfth, in a race that received a standing ovation.

Schlein won the thirteenth from Nicholls and Heeps to take the Witches two points up, but Garcia packed up on the line in the penultimate heat, with Palm Toft winning from Riss to square things up going into the last heat.

This result will be viewed as a good days work for the Witches and takes them into the top four of the league where they’ll be looking to stay to qualify for the end of season play-offs.

Paul Hurst has been impressed with the form of goalkeeper Dean Gerken since the 33-year-old was brought into the side in place of Bartosz Bialkowski.

Ipswich Town manager Paul Hurst admits he’s frustrated at the repeated injury set-backs being suffered by creative midfield duo Emyr Huws and Teddy Bishop.

Ipswich Town owner Marcus Evans and manager Paul Hurst met on Tuesday prior to the Blues’ 1-1 draw with Brentford.

Ipswich Town’s potential move for free agent central defender James Collins is ‘dead and buried now’ according to manager Paul Hurst.

Ipswich Town manager Paul Hurst will speak to the media at 1.30pm ahead of the weekend visit of Bolton Wanderers.

Luke Woolfenden wants to use his loan at League Two Swindon to help secure a place in the Ipswich Town side for the start of next season.

In our new daily feature, we take a look at what happened on this day in Ipswich Town history

Kayden Jackson is hoping his goal in Tuesday night’s 1-1 draw with Brentford is the first of many as he continues to get to grips with the challenge of the Championship.

One of Ipswich Town’s greatest ever players was honoured with a testimonial match at Portman Road in 1982 for his service for the football club

Paul Hurst doesn’t expect midfielder Teddy Bishop to be out for too long despite picking up a hamstring injury but Jon Walters is now a doubt for Saturday’s game with Bolton.

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