Embarrassing Witches reach new low

IF it had been a boxing match it would have been stopped well before the half-way mark.

IF it had been a boxing match it would have been stopped well before the half-way mark.

Ipswich Witches’ wretched season reached a new low at Foxhall Stadium Thursday night as they were put to the sword by a Poole Pirates side, who were in stupendous form.

Any hopes Witches fans had the Dorset side, currently in the middle of a play-off semi-final with Wolves, would take this meeting lightly, were rudely cast aside, as the Witches’ weaknesses were cruelly exposed, as they suffered their biggest-ever home defeat.

Faster from the starts, the Pirates showed exactly why they are champions-elect and why the Witches will be contending a relegation play-off in October.

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It was a sorry night for the loyal Witches fans and simply not good enough.

Poole began the meeting in determined form and the Aussie duo of Chris Holder and Darcy Ward left Witches No.1 Scott Nicholls trailing in heat one.

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It set the scene for the meeting and the sparse crowd had nothing to celebrate throughout.

Ipswich can have no excuses.

The team they put out, without Robert Miskowiak and Dawid Stachyra (Polish commitments) and the injured Chris Slabon, was never going to compete against a settled Poole side brimming in confidence.

Talk of the Witches dropping down to the Premier League is rife and divides fans’ opinions.

But quite frankly if they can’t give the likes of Poole a proper meeting at home, then maybe the Premier League is where Ipswich should be.

Last night there were no positives for the Ipswich promotion or riders, as Poole, without the ill Bjarne Pedersen, didn’t even have to use Holder or Davey Watt for rider replacement rides, or any of their top stars in heat 15, so dominant was their form.

It was 22-8 to the visitors by heat five, after a storming start and the meeting was already over.

Nicholls was out on a tactical ride as early as heat six but couldn’t catch Watt and Richie Hawkins fell for the first time in heat seven.

Captain Danny King took a tactical ride in heat 12, but he suffered engine failure at the start, as Poole extended their lead to 20 points.

Edinburgh’s Ryan Fisher, guesting for Slabon, could be back at Foxhall for the Monarchs in the relegation play-offs, but he had a hapless night, scoring one point from his five rides, including a heat 10 fall.

King and Nicholls did at least win heats, but it was only against the Poole reserves and second strings.

Rain showers made the track greasy and Poole were unhappy about the state of it going into the last three races. It all got a bit heated and while Ipswich were happy to race, Poole made a fuss, which was completely unnecessary..

The meeting carried on however, as did the Poole juggernaut.

It was a woeful performance from the home side and the Witches fans deserve better.



Ipswich: S Nicholls 8+1, R Fisher 1, D King 13, A Dryml 1, R/R, R Hawkins 2, K Smith 8.

Poole: C Holder 12, D Ward 11+2, R/R, A Mroczka 10+2, D Watt 8+1, L Madsen 11, G Havelock 7+3.

Witches 0 pts. Poole 4 pts.

Heat details

1 Holder, Ward, Fisher, Nicholls 57.9 1-5

2 Madsen, Havelock, Hawkins, Smith 59.6 2-10

3 Ward, King, Mroczka, Dryml 58.9 4-14

4 Watt, Smith, Havelock, Fisher 59.5 6-18

5 Holder, King, Ward, Dryml 59.2 8-22

6 Watt, Nicholls (tac), Madsen, Fisher 59.4 12-26

7 King, Mroczka, Havelock, Hawkins (f) 59.7 15-29

8 Ward, Smith, Havelock, Hawkins, Fisher (ex 2 mins) 59.9 17-33

9 Madsen, Watt, Dryml, King (tac ride, e/f) 64.3 18-38

10 Nicholls, Madsen, Mroczka, Fisher (f) 63.2 21-41

11 Holder, Ward, Smith, Hawkins 63.3 22-46

12 King, Madsen, Mroczka, Smith 63.4 25-49

13 Holder, Smith, Nicholls, Watt 63.3 28-52

14 Mroczka, Havelock, Hawkins, Dryml 63.6 29-57

15 King, Mroczka, Smith, Madsen 61.4 33-59

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