Witches upset at home by patched-up Pirates
- Credit: Picture: Steve Waller
Premiership Ipswich Witches 42 Poole Pirates 48 The high-flying Ipswich Witches were brought down to earth with a bump by a patched-up Poole Pirates team at Foxhall tonight, writes Steve Waller.
Utilising three guests and the rider replacement facility, the visitors consistently out gated the home side and, on a slick track where passing was limited, the Suffolk side had no answer.
After two shared heats the Pirates took the lead in the third, after Nicolai Klindt won a two lap battle with Danny King for the win and, with his partner Josh Grajczonek finishing third, they were on their way to a surprise victory.
The visitors extended their lead in the next when Ricky Wells and Jack Holder hammered home a 5-1, to leave the home side trailing by six.
King won the fifth from Grajczonek and with Krystian Pieszczek passing Kyle Newman for a point the Witches had pulled a couple back, but it was only a brief respite.
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Home fans were stunned as the visitors hammered home two 5-1's on the bounce, the second over a tactical riding King in heat seven which left them trailing by 12. It wasn't looking good for the home side.
The tide was briefly stemmed in the eighth, with the Witches pair filling the minor places, but neither Jake Allen or Cameron Heeps could get the better of Wells who won the heat.
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Finally the Witches found their gating boots, with Pieszczek making it to the first bend alongside Jack Holder and pulling away for victory ahead of the Australian in the ninth, and with King finishing third the home side now trailed by 10.
A shared heat 11 followed before King won the twelfth, from Wells and Allen, to reduce the Pirates' advantage to eight, but this was as close as they were to get.
Doolan and Holder filled the minor places behind Harris in the thirteenth and then Grajczonek won the penultimate heat to ensure the points were heading back to Dorset.
Harris then won the last heat from Holder and with King third the Witches pair had at least stopped the visitors from gaining all four points available, although the three they did get for victory leap-frogged them ahead of Ipswich and Belle Vue to the top of the table.
Ipswich 42: Chris Harris 9+1, Cameron Heeps 5+2, Danny King 10, Krystian Pieszczek 5+1, Richard Lawson 4, Edward Kennett 6+1, Jake Allen 3
Poole 48: Kyle Newman 0, Nicolai Klindt 9, Josh Grajczonek 11+1, Jack Holder 13+2, Kevin Doolan 5+2, Ricky Wells 10