Miskowiak maximum as Witches win

ROBERT Miskowiak raced to an 18-point maximum as the Ipswich Witches ended their barren run of results with their first win in 11, albeit by just two points 46-44, at Foxhall Stadium last night.

By Mike Bacon

ROBERT Miskowiak raced to an 18-point maximum as the Ipswich Witches ended their barren run of results with their first win in 11, albeit by just two points 46-44, at Foxhall Stadium last night.

The Witches made hard work of beating fellow strugglers Eastbourne, and quite simply without Miscowiak's brilliance on the night this could have been another embarrassing result against a side who invariably do not go that well at Foxhall.

However, it was a case of all's well that ends well as Miskowiak and young Tobi Kroner gained a 4-2 advantage in the final race, to not only grab the two Sky Sports Elite League points but also the bonus point.


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In the grand scheme of things it is only pride both sides were racing for, but with Belle Vue winning at Reading on Wednesday night, suddenly the wooden spoon is up for grabs with both the Witches and Eastbourne as well as the Manchester outfit all in contention for that unwanted prize.

So this result should hopefully see the Witches avoid that and with it boost a little bit of confidence after some heavy home defeats against some of the top sides of late.

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On a track that was spoiled by a heavy shower a couple of hours before the start, this was never a classic, but in a strange way of all the good racing that has been seen at Foxhall so far this season the lack of that last night didn't seem to matter as Miskowiak and Kroner brought the points home in the final race.

The lead had switched three times already in the meeting before the Witches grabbed the spoils in Heat 15, and indeed the home side did not take the lead at all in the match until Heat 9.

The first half of the meeting belonged to Eastbourne, with guest Simon Stead and Davey Watt looking especially impressive with only Miskowiak getting among the Eagles side.

But a Witches 5-1 maximum in Heat 8, courtesy of Shaun Tacey, who was guesting for the injured Zibi Suchecki, and Kim Jansson brought the scores level, and with Chris Louis and Kroner repeating the dose in the next, most home fans hoped that the Witches would press on for victory.

But two disappointing rides from the usually dependable Louis in Heats 10 and 12 meant it was the visitors who regained the advantage before Kroner won Heat 14 with Miskowiak winning the heats either side of that.

On a tricky track passing was at a premium, and Lewis Bridger fell in Heat 1 with Jansson just managing to avoid him.

Gating was proving crucial, and Miskowiak was loving it, with three heat wins for him in the first seven races.

Tacey's great start in Heat 8 allowed Jansson through and after a surprise last place for Louis in Heat 10 it was the Eagles who got back into the meeting.

With it coming down to the wire, Miskowiak and Stead diced for the lead down the back straight in Heat 13, with the Pole cutting back superbly on the fourth turn to keep the scores level.

It was that man Miskowiak again who made no mistake in the last with Kroner battling past Stead as all three points went to the Witches.

Ipswich: Rider replacement, K Jansson 8, C Louis 6 + 2, T Kroner 10 + 2, R Miskowiak 18, M Rempala 1, S Tacey 2 + 1.

Eastbourne: S Stead 9 + 1, L Bridger 3, D Watt 13, C Kerr 2 + 1, M Risager 3 + 1, C Woodward 7 + 4, S Gustafsson 7.

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