Panthers play-off hopes in tatters

Elite League BIpswich Witches 60 Peterborough Panthers 36PANTHERS crashed to another heavy defeat, this time at the hands of the Ipswich, to leave their hopes of a play-off place in tatters.

Elite League B

Ipswich Witches 60 Peterborough Panthers 36

PANTHERS crashed to another heavy defeat, this time at the hands of the Ipswich, to leave their hopes of a play-off place in tatters.

A combination of sluggish trapping and poor first corners saw them second best in every department, with only Bjerre and team captain Iversen offering any real or sustained resistance.

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It was only the fact that Panthers took full advantage of both tactical rides that made the defeat look better than it really was, but it was still the Witches biggest win of the season and they comfortably covered for the injured Danny King.

The opening three heats provided little evidence that this was to be a run away win but three heats later Ipswich had rammed home three maximums and although Bjerre cut that with a six point tactical win in heat seven, further Witches maximums in heat eight and nine effectively killed the match off there and then.

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Another tactical win, this time by Iversen in heat 11 who was followed home by Vissing, again cut the Witches lead and made the score line look somewhat respectable. But it never looked like lasting and sure enough Ipswich again stepped up to the plate and finished the match off strongly with four more heat advantages.

Unfortunately as a contest it was totally one sided and the racing was generally little better, Nicholls stalk and pass off Bjerre in heat 10 being the only notable passing manoeuvre of the entire match.

Nicholls was unbeaten and Miskowiak after being headed by Bjerre in heat three went unbeaten after that, but the Ipswich team was solid right the way down the line restricting Panthers to just three heat winners and making them take 13 last places.

Bjerre started well and was clearly the best Panthers had while Iversen gave him some support with some good races and some bad but the fact that together they scored twice what the other five could only manage together clearly shows the enormity of the task ahead.

Ipswich: S Nicholls 13+2 T Kroner 7+2, R Miskowiak 17, R/R, T Batchelor 11+1, D Stachyra 6+1, C Wilkinson 6+2.

Peterborough: NK Iversen 11, C Vissing 3+1, K Hansen 3+1, K Bjerre 13, M Korneilussen 4, A Dryml 2, H Bager 0.

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