Mike says: Five observations from the Witches defeat to Peterborough at Foxhall

Scott Nicholls makes an inside move on Ipswich's Rory Schlein in heat 15 to help clinch the meeting

Scott Nicholls makes an inside move on Ipswich's Rory Schlein in heat 15 to help clinch the meeting for Peterborough on opening night at Foxhall. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Ipswich Witches lost to Peterborough Panthers 44-46 on opening night at Foxhall. So, what did we learn about the Suffolk side this early in the campaign

Positives

An opening night defeat in speedway is never ideal.

But there were positives for the Witches management to take. The good form of Danny King and Rory Schlein continued from last season, while young reserve Danyon Hume was leading two of his races before making mistakes and tailing off.

However, Hume proved he has what it takes. And new-boy Michael Haertel too, won a race.


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No mean feat for the young German who looked good on his Witches debut.

The newly-shaped track

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There is little doubt the newly-shaped Foxhall circuit will produce some new lines to race.

Indeed, Peterborough enjoyed testing a few of them, especially going into turn one, where Michael Palm-Toft passed both Cameron Heeps and Connor Mountain in one race.

Foxhall is much more rounded a circuit now and although the track was a bit slick, as it should be on opening night, when a bit more grip is forthcoming, the racing has the potential to be superb.

Hoodoo opening nights for Witches

Over the years opening nights at Foxhall have not always gone according to plan.

Apart from some awful injuries, including the night Mark Loram sadly saw his brilliant career sadly come to an end, even in more recent years the Witches have lost at home in their first meeting.

Scunthorpe shocked the Witches a couple of seasons ago and now Peterborough have done the same in 2018.

The Witches are clearly slow starters to a season. Can this be addressed somehow?

The fans

Ipswich Speedway continues to be well supported and the fans turned out in their numbers again at Foxhall on Thursday night.

Last season’s success has brought many back to the Heath to enjoy the sport. But they will want to see the team carry on the success from last season.

So, this opening night loss must be put right very quickly, preferably away at Lakeside next week, or Peterborough when the return Championship Shield return takes place.

Foxhall Stadium

The stadium at Foxhall continues to improve and fans can enjoy a decent night of action in a venue that has improved much over the past few years.

Big stands, good catering, even the PA system is getting there.... slowly.

The spit and sawdust impression some still have of speedway is a distant proposition at Foxhall, that’s for sure.

All we need now... is a bit more sun! And the Witches back to winning ways.

WITCHES LOSE OPENER - FULL MEETING REPORT

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