Ipswich Witches injury blow... Team boss Ritchie Hawkins gives the latest

Rory Schlein (left) and Danny King, battled hard for the Witches at Peterborough, but to no avail. P

Rory Schlein (left) and Danny King, battled hard for the Witches at Peterborough, but to no avail. Photo: STEVE WALLER - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Peterborough Panthers 53, Ipswich Witches 37

Ipswich Witches team manager Ritchie Hawkins admits his side are likely to be looking for a short-term replacement for fractured arm victim Michael Hartel.

The German crashed in a long-track meeting on Saturday night after clashing with Martin Smolinski. Hartel is seeing doctors in Germany tomorrow.

It’s a blow for the Suffolk side, who suffered a 16-point defeat at Peterborough in their final Championship Shield clash at Alwalton this afternoon. The Witches didn’t pick up a single point in their four Shield clashes with the Panthers or Lakeside.

“To lose Michael is a big blow,” Hawkins said.

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“We will probably look for a replacement as rider replacement isn’t effective for long periods. Michael could be out for some time.”

And of the Witches defeat at Peterborough, Hawkins said: “We were in it up to heat 12, but fell away which is disappointing. Rory Schlein was again superb and young Georgie Wood did well. But we must now focus on the Edinburgh clash at Foxhall on Thursday. We are still sitting well in the league.”

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Schlein had to work hard in heat one as he found himself behind both Panthers, before cutting back to beat Ellis Perks by a bike length. Connor Mountain won the reserves race, but the home side re-took the lead, before Danny King won heat four.

The Witches were producing race winners and Schlein won the next, but they were having too many last places, Cameron Heeps being passed by the Panthers in a shared heat five. Heat six saw King gate to win again, before heat seven saw a crash for Panthers’ Ulrich Ostergaard, who got it all wrong on turn four and smashed into the fence. There was concern for the home man, who was taken to hospital.

There had been a 55-minute delay as Ostergaard was seen to and transferred to hospital and in the re-run of heat Simon Lambert, who was the sole Panther stole a march on the Witches to take the win.

Peterborough stretched their lead to eight in the next heat as Heeps made it three last places on the bounce and Schlein was brought in as a tactical rider in race nine. He won well, with King battled hard to split the Panthers pairing on the run-in to the line. Heat 10 was draw before Schlein won again as the Witches reduced the deficit to just four points. But that was as good as it got for the visitors and three maximums in heats 12, 13 and 14 sealed the deal for the Panthers.

Peterborough: S Nicholls 11+2, E Perks 4+2, B Wilson-Dean 8+2, M Palm-Toft 13, U Ostergaard 2, S Lambert 9+1, T Bacon 6+2.

Ipswich: R Schlein 15, C Heeps 1, N Covatti 4+1, G Wood 4+1, D King 7, C Mountain 5, D Hume 1.

1 Nicholls, Schlein, Perks, Heeps 61.0 4-2

2 Mountain, Lambert, Hume, Bacon (Ret) 60.7 6-6

3 Palm-Toft, Wilson-Dean, Covatti, Wood 60.6 11-7

4 King, Ostergaard, Bacon, Hume 60.8 14-10

5 Schlein, Palm-Toft, Wilson-Dean, Heeps 60.4 17-13

6 King, Nicholls, Perks, Mountain 61.0 20-16

7 Lambert, Wood, Covatti, Ostergaard (ex) 61.9 23-19

8 Bacon, Perks, Mountain, Heeps 62.3 28-20

9 Schlein*, Lambert, King, Wilson-Dean, Palm-Toft (ex/tapes)61.8 30-24

10 Nicholls, Covatti, Wood, Perks 62.6 33-27

11 Schlein, Wilson-Dean, Heeps, Lambert 62.4 35-31

12 Wilson-Dean, Bacon, Mountain, Covatti 62.5 40-32

13 Palm-Toft, Nicholls, Schlein, King 62.4 45-33

14 Palm-Toft, Lambert, Wood, Hume (f/x) 63.2 50-34

15 Schlein, Palm-Toft, Nicholls, Covatti 62.5 53-37

*tactical ride

Peterborough 3 pts. Ipswich 0 pts.

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