Another defeat but bonus point secured

IPSWICH Evening Star Witches were second best at Smallmead last night, going down to a 50-42 Elite League defeat to the Reading Racers, but the Witches did do enough to pick up the aggregate bonus point courtesy of their big win at Foxhall earlier in the season.

IPSWICH Evening Star Witches were second best at Smallmead last night, going down to a 50-42 Elite League defeat to the Reading Racers, but the Witches did do enough to pick up the aggregate bonus point courtesy of their big win at Foxhall earlier in the season.

The Witches kept the score close for most of the evening, but a solid Racers team had the strength in depth which showed in them winning 12 of the 15 races.

Ipswich skipper Chris Louis top-scored for the Witches with 11 points and Kim Jansson was next best with nine (paid 11).

For Reading, Travis McGowan was top of the pile with an excellent 11 points and, he received good support from guest Davey Watt with nine (paid 10) and Matej Zagar, also with nine.


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Reading got off to a good start with Watt winning heat 1 ahead of Kim Jansson and with Janusz Kolodziej passing Jesper Jensen on the second lap, it resulted in the Racers opening up with a 4-2.

Tobias Kroner won a shared heat 2, but Reading went further in front with a 4-2 in heat 3 after Ipswich's Zibi Suchecki had fallen while leading on the second lap.

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Heat 4 was a 3-3, and Mark Lemon raced to a good win from behind in heat 5, resulting in another shared race.

Kolodziej and Watt made a good start in heat 6 to link up for a 5-1 which increased the Racers' lead to 22-14, and McGowan and Jonas Davidsson made it 26-16 with a 4-2 in heat 7.

In a bid to reduce the arrears Witches team boss Mike Smillie elected for Jansson to go out in heat 8 as a double-point tactical ride.

However, it was Kolodziej who took the chequered flag for the Racers ahead of Jansson and Kroner, but the ensuing Ipswich 5-3 did reduce the deficit to 29-21.

Zagar raced to his second victory of the night ahead of Robert Miskowiak and Marcin Rempala in a shared heat 9, but Watt and Kolodziej came from behind in heat 10 to earn the Racers a 4-2 and a 36-26 lead going into the interval.

After the break, the Witches fans had something to cheer about when Jensen and Jansson made a good start and raced to a super 5-1 over the previously-unbeaten McGowan.

Zagar just got the better of a great battle with Louis in heat 12 and with Kroner third, the resulting 3-3 made the progressive score 40-34 in Reading's favour with three races to go.

Heat 13 saw McGowan and Watt hold on for a Racers 4-2, and Reading wrapped up the points with a Lemon and Davidsson five-pointer in heat 14.

The final race of the night saw Zagar excluded after first passing Jensen and then being adjudged to have brought down Louis on the third bend of the third lap. As a result the referee awarded it as a Witches 5-1 to make the final score 50-42.

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