Witches now bottom

Elite League BPoole Pirates 59 Ipswich Witches 33IPSWICH sorely missed recent recruit Scott Nicholls as fellow strugglers Poole dropped them to the bottom of the Elite League table.

Elite League B

Poole Pirates 59 Ipswich Witches 33

IPSWICH sorely missed recent recruit Scott Nicholls as fellow strugglers Poole dropped them to the bottom of the Elite League table.

The Witches went down 59-33 at Wimborne Road last night as they failed to find their stride against a Pirates side which has won just four times at home all season.

Their greatest resistence came from Polish pair Robert Miskowiak and impressive reserve Dawid Stachyra, who bagged 10 paid 11 points apiece.

But with Witches only able to track number eight Jerran Hart in place of Nicholls, who was riding for his Swedish club Vargarna, they always faced an uphill battle.

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Despite missing their own number one Hans Andersen, who was injured in Sweden on Tuesday night, Pirates put Ipswich to the sword from the off.

Bjarne Pedersen and Joe Screen bagged a 5-1 over Tobias Kroner and Hart in heat one.

Stachyra hit back by winning the reserves race, but Witches looked set to concede another maximum in race three.

This was until Daniel Davidsson fell on lap two, bend three while second to Pedersen, allowing Miskowiak and Danny King to fill the minor places.

Pirates made up for this disappointment when Chris Holder shepherded Steve Boxall to a 5-1 over Troy Batchelor and Stachyra in heat four.

This opened the floodgates as the Witches conceded two more maximums to slide 26-10 behind after six races.

Team manager Pete Simmons responded by nominating Robert Miskowiak for a tactical ride.

The Pole made a scorching start but he was quickly caught by in-form Holder, who rocketed around his outside on lap two, bend two.

Miskowiak tried to hit back by pushing the Aussie hard towards the fence on turn four, but the Pirate wound on the gas and kept his lead beautifully.

Witches had some better luck in race eight, when Stachyra pulled off a cool victory over Poole reserve Boxall.

This proved a flash in the pan, though, as Poole stretched their lead with a 5-1 in heat nine and a 4-2 in race 11.

Batchelor ended a miserable night on a positive note when he stormed under Holder and then Screen on the first lap to win heat 13.

But Pirates recorded a 4-2 in heat 14 and then a 5-1 over Miskowiak and Stachyra in the nominated race as they waltzed to the three points.

Witches will be determined to put this result behind them and climb back above Poole, when they tackle Wolves at Foxhall tonight.

Poole: Hans Andersen R/R, Joe Screen 5+3, Daniel Davidsson 11+1, Bjarne Pedersen 16+2, Chris Holder 16+1, Ben Wilson 4+1, Steve Boxall 7.

Ipswich: Jerran Hart 0, Tobias Kroner 3, Robert Miskowiak 10+1, Danny King 5+1, Troy Batchelor 5, Dawid Stachyra 10+1, Carl Wilkinson 0.