New line-up but same old Witches

A NEW Witches line-up but the same old result was the outcome of last night's Sky Sports Elite League clash between the Suffolk side and Peterborough.The Panthers ran out comfortable victors and while all eyes were on the returning Scott Nicholls, it was the Witches' other new boy, Troy Batchelor, who stole the show for the visitors with two fine heat wins in an impressive debut for the club.

Mike Bacon

A NEW Witches line-up but the same old result was the outcome of last night's Sky Sports Elite League clash between the Suffolk side and Peterborough.

The Panthers ran out comfortable victors and while all eyes were on the returning Scott Nicholls, it was the Witches' other new boy, Troy Batchelor, who stole the show for the visitors with two fine heat wins in an impressive debut for the club.

However, the Witches' old failing of lacking consistency proved their downfall with especially Toby Kroner and Dawid Stachyra failing to make much impact on the big Alwalton Bowl.


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The Witches had some rough justice, mind you, especially in the early heats, when Henning Bager in heat two clearly went over the centre green grass on his way to victory and despite Ipswich protests his win was allowed to stand.

As if that wasn't a bad enough blow the next race proved even more disastrous for the Witches with Robert Miskowiak disqualified from the race having just taken the chequered flag and all because he did not have a dirt deflector attached.

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It was a poor start for the Witches, who found themselves ten points behind as early as heat three although Batchelor stopped the rot with his first ride in Witches' colours producing a fine victory as he swooped past both home riders down the back straight.

Nicholls, who was making his 300th appearance for the Witches, showed a glimpse of his huge talent with a fine win in heat five and although Stachyra battled hard for third place in the next due to the Witches' poor start they were still six points behind.

Carl Wilkinson was gating well but he was passed by both Ales Dryml and Claus Vissing in heat eight before the Witches bounced back in the next.

Batchelor had a tactical ride and the race was reduced to three riders when Kenneth Hansen collided with Batchelor going into the third turn and was rightly excluded.

Batchelor won the re-run to collect six points as Ipswich reduced the deficit to seven but it was as close as they came for the rest of the evening.

Miskowiak was showing plenty of determination and he roared inside Dryml on the entrance to turn one in heat 10 much to the annoyance of the Peterborough man who vented his feelings to Miskowiak in the pits.

Nicholls passed Henning Bager before the race of the night in heat 12 saw Vissing and Miskowiak scrap neck and neck swapping places for the lead.

Ipswich were now 11 points behind and Peterborough's big guns Niels Kristian Iversen and Kenneth Bjerre were too good for Nicholls and Batchelor in heat 13.

Although Danny King won a second tactical ride for the visitors in the penultimate heat, it was another blank points tally for the Witches on their travels and they remain the only side in the Elite League to have that dubious honour.

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