Swedish stars too hot for Witches
Wolverhampton Wolves 53 Ipswich Witches 39IPSWICH were unable to find an answer to Wolverhampton's star Swedish duo as they were beaten at Monmore Green.
Wolverhampton Wolves 53 Ipswich Witches 39
IPSWICH were unable to find an answer to Wolverhampton's star Swedish duo as they were beaten at Monmore Green.
Fredrik Lindgren and Peter Karlsson have dominated around their home circuit so far this season, and this meeting was no exception as Wolves took revenge for their recent defeat at Foxhall.
Witches went into the meeting somewhat depleted with Jarek Hampel ruled out with food poisoning, and Tobias Kroner missing due to whiplash following a weekend road accident in Poland.
Hampel was replaced by Lakeside's Adam Shields, who did a sound enough job at No 1, but the visitors had no answer to the Wolves' top end and were limited to just three heat wins on the night.
They had a let-off in Heat 1 when they were facing a 5-1 reverse until Nicola Klindt over-locked and retired, and the Witches briefly went ahead with a 4-2 in Heat 2, the race won by Carl Wilkinson.
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But that turned out to be Wilkinson's total score for the night, although he was far from happy that Heat 3 was not stopped after he had fallen on the third bend under Tai Woffinden's strong inside challenge.
Woffinden charged on and overtook Daniel King, too, to put the home side in front, and they then contented themselves with a succession of 4-2s to establish control of the meeting.
Shields broke a run of home wins by taking Heat 5 impressively, and Piotr Swiderski led Karlsson for a lap in the next race before the Wolves captain came through.
Wilkinson fell again in Heat 9 as Wolves scored the first of two consecutive 4-2s to go 10 points ahead, which gave Shields the chance of taking a tactical ride in Heat 11.
He led Lindgren in the early stages but the Wolves man powered around the outside into the second lap to limit Shields to four points.
Witches battled on in search of an Elite League point for losing by six points or less.
Shields worked overtime to split Lindgren and Karlsson in Heat 13, and King won Heat 14 - although Chris Kerr's fast start blocked Dawid Stachyra's chances of taking an important third place.
But a 5-1 in the last race to reduce the margin to six was never realistically going to be on the cards.
Even so, Shields gave it his best shot before being outdone by a brilliant Karlsson/Lindgren combination, Shields eventually spinning through 360 degrees on the fourth bend as he tried to respond and ended up having to retire.
Witches Man-of-the-Meeting: Adam Shields.
Track Conditions: Dry and smooth.
Referee: C Durno.