Rider recovers after smash

IPSWICH Witches opening night of the season was marred by a succession of heavy crashes – one particularly serious involving new boy Kozza Smith

IPSWICH Witches opening night of the season was marred by a succession of heavy crashes - one particularly serious involving new boy Kozza Smith.

Smith, who is doubling up with the Witches from Kings Lynn this season, suffered a collapsed lung after a heavy heat-2 fall on his debut for the home side.

Today he was said to be comfortable in Ipswich Hospital. A spokesman said he was conscious and breathing unaided following his ordeal.

And two heats later another Witches debutant, Dawid Stachyra, also suffered a heavy fall but fortunately suffered no more than a broken wrist.

However, the unfortunate turn of events continued and four races later Witches skipper Leigh Lanham crashed spectacularly down the back straight and was taken to Ipswich Hospital after suffering a possible broken finger. He was also knocked unconscious, although he regained consciousness quite quickly.

It took more than one-and-a quarter hours to run the first three heats with medics having to travel with Smith to Ipswich Hospital before returning to Foxhall Stadium.

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The meeting was abandoned after 12 heats with the score 33-39 in favour of Lakeside.