Hapless Witches trumped by Aces

IPSWICH Witches were comprehensively beaten in Manchester last night as they were totally out-classed by Belle Vue Aces.

IPSWICH Witches were comprehensively beaten in Manchester as they were totally out-classed by Belle Vue Aces.

Apart from Scott Nicholls and to a lesser extent Danny King, the Witches had no answers in the Sky-televised clash, with the two Witches riders receiving no back up from the rest of the team.

It must have made painful viewing for Witches fans, who would have been expecting more from their side after they picked up their first victory of the season against Eastbourne on Thursday.

Witches team boss Pete Simmons admitted: “Apart from Scott and Danny, we’ve had no back up. It’s been poor, very poor.”

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“We’ve got a tough meeting against Poole on Thursday at Foxhall and we need to pick these boys up. Claus Vissing has been riding decent, but he’s got nothing tonight.

“And Olly Allen needs a good start to a meeting. Up to now he hasn’t had a decent first race. Danny (King) had a nasty fall and wasn’t feeling great, but a half-fit Danny was better than anyone else for the last heat, apart from Scott.”

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Simmons was clearly frustrated with his side’s efforts and it will be starting to concern the Witches management that Allen continues his disappointing start to the season, and now with Vissing having a poor night, frailties are appearing in the line-up.

The only bright spot was Nicholls and without his efforts the Witches would have suffered more.

The Witches No.1 scored more than half his team’s total and won three of the first six races, including a sensational heat five ride, where he came from third to first.

In heat 13 he passed Simon Stead in great fashion and he was the only Witch who left Manchester with his head held high, having lost just one race in six, to Stead in heat 11.

Not surprisingly, the Witches were never ahead, mainly due to the fact they couldn’t gain a heat advantage for love nor money.

King suffered a nasty fall in heat three, as he wheelied down the back straight inside former Witch Tobi Kroner, who was making his debut for the Aces. And a fine one it was too, with 10 solid points.

Both sides were minus riders because of the travel problems around Europe, but it was the Aces who coped better, with all their team coming to the party.

The Witches were six points down after six races despite providing four race winners in those first six heats, and things went from bad to worse when Nicholls or King weren’t in a race.

Belle Vue didn’t have to work hard for victory, filling the minor placings when Nicholls was in a race, and picking off the Witches weak and long tail.

Belle Vue collected all three points, but for Witches fans it was the manner of the defeat that will worry and hurt.

With high-flying Poole next up for the Suffolk side on Thursday night, certain Witches are going to have to buck their ideas up . . . and quick.


Belle Vue: C Harris 11, J Wright 11+3, R/R, T Kroner 10+2, S Stead 11+2, W Lawson 5, L Lanham 7+1

Ipswich: S Nicholls 19, C Vissing 0, D King 8, O Allen 4+1, R/R, R Hawkins 3+1, C Wilkinson 3

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