Witches topple Eagles

IT took its time coming, but when the Witches eventually got into gear at Foxhall Stadium last night, they took Eastbourne apart.

Mike Bacon

IT took its time coming, but when the Witches eventually got into gear at Foxhall Stadium last night, they took Eastbourne apart.

Just two points ahead with five heats remaining, Ipswich finished the match like world-beaters to have all three points sewn up before the last heat.

Led by reserve Carl Wilkinson and maximum-man Jarek Hampel, the Witches extended their lead from two to 14 points in the space of four heats at the death, as Eastbourne were sent packing.


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The Witches made another average start and with inconsistency written all over them, Hampel apart, the Eagles must have fancied getting something out of this one.

But they didn't and this was a great boost for the Foxhall faithful.

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Hampel jetted away from the start in the opening race, with Leigh Lanham making a decent start too, as the Witches took a heat one lead.

However, for the second consecutive week, the visiting reserves took a 5-1 off the home reserves as the Witches went behind.

Lewis Bridger was hard on Tobi Kroner on turn two of the third bend as the German fell and was excluded. Kroner wasn't happy, but Bridger closed the gap and was ahead at the time. King made the most of his second chance, having a good ding-dong with Bridger, before coming out on top.

Swiderski, who had been struggling from the starts in recent weeks, looked far more at home in the next, and with Carl Wilkinson bravely holding off Chris Schramm in third for a Witches maximum.

Kroner passed Kling after a poor start in heat five and then Hampel made it two out of two in the next, with Lanham a disappointing last.

Swiderski's mixed start to the season was typified in heat seven when he was closed out by Bridger and Cameron Woodward, as the Eagles went back in front.

Wilkinson and Lanham certainly showed far more grit in heat eight, Wilkinson pushing hard on Woodward going into turn one and passing Schramm down the back straight. Lanham was next to attack Woodward, who fell under pressure, but got up when he could have stayed on the track.

Kroner flew from the outside in heat nine, but Dryml was all over the track keeping King behind him, as the Witches now took a two-point lead.

Hampel won heat 10 and then there was excitement from Watt in the next. After a messy start, the Australian was left standing. Far from impressed he roared up dirt on the centre green, as Swiderski passed Bridger on turn four on lap one, with Ipswich now 35-31 ahead.

Bridger's over-enthusiasm caught him out in the next, as he fell on turn two and was excluded.

Wilkinson was riding superbly and he passed Ricky Kling, to follow home Kroner.

Hampel completed his fourth win, with Swiderski getting third in the important heat 13 although it allowed Eastbourne a tactical ride in the penultimate heat.

Woodward was nominated for that, but he had no answer to the inspired Wilkinson and King, who flew from the start as Ipswich secured all three points.

Hampel finished the meeting off in style, to complete a 15-point maximum on a happy night for home fans.

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