Stachyra stars as Witches crush Poole

IPSWICH Witches pulled themselves off the foot of the Sky Sports Elite League table with a solid 10-point victory over Poole at Foxhall last night.On the anniversary of the death of Witches legend Billy Sanders, who died 24 years ago, the Witches turned in a performance of grit the tough Aussie would have been proud of.

Mike Bacon

IPSWICH Witches pulled themselves off the foot of the Sky Sports Elite League table with a solid 10-point victory over Poole at Foxhall last night.

On the anniversary of the death of Witches legend Billy Sanders, who died 24 years ago, the Witches turned in a performance of grit the tough Aussie would have been proud of.

Getting off to the worst possible start, conceding a 5-1 in the opening heat, all the Witches knuckled down to the job in hand to produce a solid team effort.

Led by stand-in skipper Danny King, Jarek Hampel and Piotr Swiderski, Ipswich were too strong for a Poole side who look a pale shadow of their champions tag.

The Witches got off to a hapless start, with Bjarne Pedersen and Lukasz Jankowski gating to a maximum over the Witches pairing of Hampel and Morten Risager.

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But Ipswich hit back straight away in a cracker of a reserves' race.

Tomasz Piszcz made a flyer of a start, but Dawid Stachyra, who is improving each week, picked him off, while Carl Wilkinson and Paul Hurry had a battle at the back for the minor placings, with the Ipswich man coming out on top.

The Witches were still behind, but took the lead in heat three, with Tobi Kroner, a rider who has been under pressure at Foxhall for his early season efforts, riding a brave line down the back straight to join King at the front.

Poole levelled it up in the next, before King and Kroner put the Suffolk side ahead again.

Hampel and Chris Holder had a ding-dong scrap in heat six, with the Pole having use all his track knowledge to hold off the young Aussie.

Stachyra picked up a point in heat seven as Swiderski won his first race of the night, and Stachyra then showed his continued good form with a tapes-to-flag win in heat eight.

In heat nine the Witches went six points ahead as King and Kroner both went round the outside of Piszcz on turn two of lap one, and it stayed that way.

Risager rode a superb race for the home side in heat 10, bringing the crowd to their feet as he stalked and then roared past Joe Screen down the back straight on the final lap.

Ten points behind now, Poole used Pedersen as a tactical ride, but he had no answer to the flying Swiderski with Ipswich eight ahead.

Kroner was all over Screen in the next, as Poole pulled two more points back.

But the Witches clinched the meeting in heat 13, with Hampel gating to the front and Swiderski slicing inside the bemused Holder on turn four on lap one. It was a superb ride by the two Poles.

Hurry crashed out on the second bend in heat 14, which was tough on partner Piszcz who was leading. In the re-run however Piszcz made no mistake.

The Witches just needed a second place in the final heat to clinch all three points and Hampel and Swiderski made sure of that as the Witches fans went home happy.

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