Witches ride to victory

IPSWICH Witches cast their spell in emphatic style to win this promotion/relegation play-of final second leg at Foxhall Stadium last night.

The Suffolk club won the tie 110-76 on aggregate after fulfilling all the pre-meeting predictions by thumping Premier League Newcastle Diamonds on their own track.

It was one-way traffic from the start on a night where the sight of different riders helped to swell the attendance figure.

And they got their money’s worth with all the home riders contributing well to erase some of the memories of a depressing campaign that saw the Suffolk-based club finish bottom of the Elite League table.

This victory keeps them in the top flight in 2011 unless they decide to opt to request a move down the lower level, which is unlikely.

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The visitors, who were pipped by two points in the first leg at Brough Park on Sunday, have done well this year winning trophies in the Premier League and still got the two legs of the Knock-Out Cup final against Edinburgh to ride.

They were without four of their own riders although three could be back in their side against the Scottish-based league champions and only having three of their own riders proved far too much of an obstacle against a home team hell bent on ending the campaign on a high note.

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In a meeting sponsored by the Fat Cat public house there was only one brew that was going to be a success and typical for this time of the year it was a Witches brew.

The Ipswich management have obviously got a good idea of who they want in their side in 2011, and for those who might still be borderline it was a chance to make an late impression although the nature of the opposition will no doubt be taken into account.

Chris Slabon and Robert Miskowiak must be candidates for a drop from the side, and both looked reasonably impressive with the former coming from some way back to pip Stuart Robson on the line for second place in heat six.

Ales Dryml does not hide the fact that he loves riding at Foxhall although he will be disappointed that he slipped off in his second outing to mar his evening.

Dawid Stachyra was in prime form to show how much he has advanced during his time with the Witches while Ritchie Hawkins was on the pace and Scott Nicholls a worthy maximum man and Daniel King not far behind in skill levels.

The visitors were well served by Kenni Larsen, with Lakeside guest Stuart Robson also gaining a welcome win when wearing the black and white helmet colour.

Ipswich chalked up eight maximum heat wins in the 15 races to show their undoubted authority as the curtain came down on speedway at Foxhall for 2010 in impressive style.

The response to the competition to dress up in Halloween costume was excellent with 40 yard line of entrants lined up along the home straight to be judged by Witches skipper King.

Joining in the fun was Ipswich promoter John Louis who looked incredibly scary in full garb – and it was all good fun to end the season on.

The rider replacement facility for Daniel King’s injured brother Jason accrued a paid eight points with help from a tactical ride win by Robson.

Scorers: Ipswich: S Nicholls 11+1, C Slabon 6+3, D King 10+1, A Dryml 6+2, R Miskowiak 9+2, D Stachyra 12+2, R Hawkins 10.

Newcastle: K Larsen 13, rider replacement J King, C Mills 0, R Bach 3, S Robson 11, S Lambert 4, A McKinna 1+1.


Heat details

1 Nicholls, Larsen, Slabon, Mills 58.7 4-2

2 Hawkins, Stachyra, Lambert, McKinna, 60.7 9-3

3 King, Dryml. Bach. Mills (e/f) 59.8 14-4

4 Hawkins, Miskowiak, Robson, McKinna 60.3 19-5

5 King, Larsen, McKinna, Dryml 59.5 22-8

6 Nicholls, Slabon, Robson, Lambert 59.6 27-9

7 Stachyra, Miskowiak, Bach. Mills (f/exc) 60.5 32-10

8 Robson*, Hawkins, Slabon, McKinna 63.1 27-21

9 Robson, Dryml, King, Lambert 60.6 38-19

10 Nicholls, Slabon, Bach, Mills 61.3 43-20

11 Larsen*, Miskowiak, Stachyra, McKinna 60.3 46-26

12 King, Lambert, Hawkins, Mills 61.4 50-28

13 Miskowiak, Nicholls, Larsen, Robson 60.7 55-29

14 Stachyra, Dryml, Lambert, Bach 60.7 60-30

15 Stachyra, Larsen, Hawkins. Robson (e/f) 60.5 64-32

* = tactical ride for double points

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