Can Panthers put more misery Witches way?

IT’S the final Elite League clash of the Ipswich Witches season and for many it can’t come soon enough.

Back in March when the 2010 Witches were introduced to the fans and media, there was an air of anticipation about the side.

So many questions, all that would define the season.

Could Olly Allen overtake Robert Miskowiak as the Witches second heat leader?

Could Danny King finally break through the eight-point average barrier to become a top England star?

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Will Dawid Stachyra move out of the reserve position to offer second-string support to the team?

And can Scott Nicholls continue his fine form of 2009?

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To all but one of these questions, the answer proved to be ‘no’, with only Nicholls’ form consistent throughout 2010, although of late even he has struggled with the weight of expectation, and a huge dose of frustration, getting to him.

And while the newly-shaped track received its plaudits – and rightly so – no-one at Foxhall could foresee the hapless league campaign the Witches were about to embark on.

So tonight, Peterborough Panthers stand in the way of a final hurrah for home fans, who voted with their feet last week, as the Suffolk side were embarrassed by Poole Pirates.

Tonight’s meeting is set to be more even and far closer, with both sides licking their wounds from recent defeats, the Witches, as mentioned, last week, and Peterborough’s on Monday night, as they lost at home to Coventry in the semi-final play-offs.

Ipswich welcome back the only bright spot of their 2010 season, Linus Sundstrom, into the team tonight.

With Miskowiak and Stachyra both back after riding in the Golden Helmet in Poland last Thursday, the Witches resemble more of a team than seven days ago and they will want to finish the league season with victory.

Peterborough boss Trevor Swales was left unimpressed with some of his rider’s efforts on Monday night, but with a cup run still going, many Witches fans would swap the Panthers’ season for their own.

Tonight’s teams

Ipswich: S Nicholls, R/R, D King, A Dryml, R Miskowiak, D Stachyra, L Sundstrom

Peterborough: K Bjerre, K Buczkowski, T Batchelor, NK Iversen, R Schlein, M Tresarrieu, AN other

Follow Mike Bacon on Twitter tonight live from Foxhall Mike_Bacon

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