Scotty makes fairytale return

Elite League BIpswich Witches 49 Wolverhampton Wolves 41SCOTT Nicholls returned to Foxhall to make his home debut on his latest return to the Witches, as Ipswich dragged themselves off the bottom of the Elite League table.

Elite League B

Ipswich Witches 49 Wolverhampton Wolves 41

SCOTT Nicholls returned to Foxhall to make his home debut on his latest return to the Witches, as Ipswich dragged themselves off the bottom of the Elite League table.

Nicholls was the hero as he won heat 15 to seal all three points in a meeting from which the Witches thoroughly deserved to take the maximum quota of points.

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On a track made difficult through earlier heavy rain the Witches applied themselves from the off and looked a solid outfit and one surely set to climb the Elite League table in the second half of the season.

The Witches led throughout against a high-flying Wolves side who twice pegged back the scores level but Ipswich were clearly determined for the challenge and, led by Nicholls, Robert Miskowiak and Danny King they deservedly took the spoils.

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Gating was always going to be crucial on a wet track and although the track staff had done wonders to get the meeting on after heavy showers, conditions weren't ideal.

Nicholls got the dream start he would have wanted with a flying start in heat one and with Tobi Kroner following him home, the Witches fans were in good early voice.

Dawid Stachyra, boosted by good performances at Swindon and Poole, won heat two, before Adam Skornicki won the visitors' first race of the night.

Peter Karlsson and Lee Complin raced away ahead of Troy Batchelor to level the scores, before Karlsson gave Kroner a nudge going into the first turn in heat six, leaving the young German on the floor.

Referee Dale Entwistle was sensibly taking track conditions into consideration as he put all four back, but Karlsson was too good again, as he won his second race of the night.

Gate one was proving a graveyard and it was Tai Woffinden to suffer the gate one hoodoo, as Batchelor delighted the crowd with his first Witches heat win at Foxhall.

But still the home side only led by four with Kroner gating to victory in heat eight and then Danny King was the next Witch to clash with Karlsson on turn two in heat nine.

Again Entwistle put all four back and in the re-run Miskowiak and King went inside and out of the unbeaten Karlsson to double the Witches lead.

Nicholls went bravely round Skornicki on turn two in heat 10, with Woffinden passing Kroner down the back straight.

But Wolves hit straight back with a 5-1 of their own, Lindgren gating into life to bring the scores level.

It was meeting on now and Miskowiak and Stachyra gated to the front of Woffinden, although the Wolves man past Stachyra, with Miskowiak becoming the first winner from the inside gate.

Heat 13 was, as usual, going to be crucial and when Karlsson spun on turn two, the referee was lenient in demanding a re-run with all four, even though Karlsson never fell.

In the re-run Nicholls cleverly took Karlsson wide as Batchelor nipped through and the Witches retained their six-point advantage.

King won heat 14 as Stachyra's pass on Complin sealed the home victory.

But the Witches wanted all three points and seemed on their way to getting them as Miskowiak showed real grit as he flew round Lindgren to lead the final race.

However, Miskowiak's footrest snapped as he flew into the air fence on the second lap leaving Nicholls on his own in the re-run, having to win the race to seal all three points.

And the perfect night was complete as the crowd roared when Nicholls hit the first turn ahead and never looked back, the perfect finish to a fine evening for Witches fans.

Ipswich: S Nicholls 13, T Kroner 6+2, R Miskowiak 9+1, D King 10+1, T Batchelor 5+1, D Stachyra 5, C Wilkinson 1.

Wolves: F Lindgren 9+1, N Klindt 4+1, T Woffinden 3+2, A Skornicki 9, P Karlsson 9, H Stichauer 1+1, L Complin 5+2.

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