Witches lack firepower in defeat

THE Ipswich Witches put up a brave fight at Wolves last night, but didn't have the firepower to seriously challenge the home side for victory despite keeping them within touching distance throughout.

THE Ipswich Witches put up a brave fight at Wolves last night, but didn't have the firepower to seriously challenge the home side for victory despite keeping them within touching distance throughout.

A final heat 4-2 from the unbeaten Fredrik Lindgren and his team-mate Peter Karlsson, who moved through from the back on the opening lap, ensured that there were no points to take back to Suffolk, although Ipswich did have the small consolation of being the first side to stop Wolves gaining 50 points at Monmore this season.

A number of times the visitors made the start only to get picked off by the Wolves top guns and only two race winners tells the story. With only three races to go the deficit remained at just six points before Lindgren and Karlsson combined for a 4-2 to take the home side eight points up.

Ipswich immediately hit back with their own 4-2, Danny King coming to life to race to victory over Adam Skornicki, with Dawid Stachyra picking up the third, but the odds were stacked against Ipswich sharing the final heat necessary to take a point back to Suffolk for a defeat of less than seven.

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And so it proved as Karlsson came through from the back despite the efforts of Scott Nicholls to hold him off.

Lindgren and Nicolai Klindt made the start to lead in the opening heat until Klindt locked up on the first corner and was passed on either side by the Witches pair in a shared heat to get the meeting under way.

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Heat two then saw Wolves' American Chris Kerr leading the Witches pairing down the back straight for the first time after an all-action first corner and with Ty Procter going round the outside of first Dawid Stachyra and then Carl Wilkinson, on successive laps, the home side gained a maximum to take them four ahead.

Danny King ran wide on the second turn in the third and slid into the airfence with the race being stopped and a rerun ordered without the Ipswich man. In the restart Robert Miskowiak made the early running before Tai Woffinden cut under him coming out of the second turn. Skornicki then went under the Ipswich rider coming out of the fourth only for Miskowiak to switch back immediately and hold him off for the remainder of the race.

Troy Batchelor and Carl Wilkinson gated well to lead Wolves legend Peter Karlsson in the next, but Karlsson was round Wilkinson within a lap before picking off Batchelor on the fourth bend with one to go.

Heat five saw Woffinden race away, although with Nicholls rearing coming out of the second turn and stopping Skonicki's run around the outside it was a shared heat, before Stachyra and Batchelor filled the minor places behind Lindgren in another drawn heat in the sixth.

Miskowiak was away from the start in the seventh but, hugging the exit of turn two, was passed around the outside by Karlsson. Half a lap later Kerr reared and hit the fence on the fourth bend, as he challenged King, although he was soon up and riding again albeit off the pace behind the Witches pair.

Heat eight was re-run twice. In the first running Wilkinson got a flyer on the inside as he looked to have anticipated the start perfectly, but the referee called the race back with a warning to the Ipswich man. In the rerun Proctor was moving as the tapes lifted and again the race was stopped with a warning this time to the Wolves rider.

Kroner then made no mistakes in the second re-run with the Witches' first win of the night. For the minor places Wilkinson briefly led Proctor before being passed but held on to third as the visitors pulled a couple back.

Heat nine saw the best race of the night with Batchelor and Woffinden all over each other at the front before the Wolves man finally overhauled the Witch, who led early on. With Stachyra winning the battle of the Poles with Skornicki for the odd point there remained just four in it.

Wolves stretched this to six with a 4-2 in the tenth, although there was drama with Miskowiak leading for most of the heat until he lifted coming out of turn two on the last lap and let both Wolves riders past. He immediately charged up the inside of Proctor going into the third bend to claim second spot with the Wolves rider far from happy.

He rode Miskowiak towards the fence after the race, albeit at slow speed and then there was frantic activity behind the pits as both riders were involved in an altercation as they got off their machines.

Karlsson made no mistake from Nicholls and Kroner in a shared Heat 11 and then following the interval Woffinden continued the Wolves' heat leader dominance with victory over Stachyra and Miskowiak in the 12th, with Wolves then going on to take victory and all the points on offer.

Despite the defeat Ipswich should gain some confidence as given Wolves' position in the table they were far from disgraced.

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