Scott top of Simmons' list

IPSWICH Witches boss Pete Simmons vowed to do everything he could to bring the best back to Foxhall next year, including prodigal son Scott Nicholls, as he watched his side bring the curtain down on the 2009 Elite League season with their first away win.

IPSWICH Witches boss Pete Simmons vowed to do everything he could to bring the best back to Foxhall next year, including prodigal son Scott Nicholls, as he watched his side bring the curtain down on the 2009 Elite League season with their first away win.

Simmons has already drawn up a shopping list for 2010 with the aim of finishing higher than the sixth-place spot they clinched last night.

And fans will be pleased to hear that former British Champion Nicholls is high on his wishlist along with Danny King, Troy Batchelor and Tobias Kroner.

The four have impressed this year and three of them played a crucial role in the Witches' spirited display in Manchester last night, which was won in the first three heats with successive 5-1 victories for the visitors.


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The first was gifted when Belle Vue's guest Niels Kristian Iversen came down on the first bend to make way for Dawid Stachyra to join Robert Miskowiak.

Ipswich continued to make it difficult for the home side to make any ground and brushed off a night which was dogged by false starts to win nine races.

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The Aces closed the gap twice with the double use of the tactical facility, including one in heat 13 when Danny King lost points with a fall when in second while Miskowiak drifted over the line in third, despite being put 15 metres back from the tapes.

Keen to make amends for the one-point defeat at Kirkmanshulme Lane two weeks ago, the dominant Witches secured a comfortable win and in doing so relegated the opposition into a fight for their top flight survival.

Reflecting on the season, Simmons admits that the Witches report card will read 'could have done better.'

But he says he is determined to put it right next year.

“I was pleased with the second half of the season but if only we could have performed like that from the start.

“We have been hit with injuries and we've had plenty of team changes. But it's very frustrating to miss out on a play-off place. The rule change meant we were the unlucky ones to miss out.

“We'll look at the riders we finished with and tick the boxes on the ones we want to keep.

“We'll be doing our best to bring Scott back into the fold but he's a Coventry asset and so unfortunately we don't have the first pickings - just like Batchelor, who's a Swindon rider.

“We need to improve in reserve though too because that's where we have struggled this year.”

Belle Vue: N K Iversen (G) 11+1, R/R , P Hougaard 4, J Wright 5, K Kasprzak 16, J Parsons 2, H Bager (G) 6+1.

Ipswich: R Miskowiak 11+1, R/R, T Batchelor 9+2, S Nicholls 11, D King 5, D Stachyra 12+2, C Wilkinson 4+1.

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