Old boy comes back to haunt Witches
DANIEL King came back to haunt his former club in Saturday's Sky Sports Elite League meeting at Foxhall Stadium.The 21-year-old top scored for Peterborough Panthers as Ipswich Witches suffered their fourth home defeat of the year.
By Elvin King
DANIEL King came back to haunt his former club in Saturday's Sky Sports Elite League meeting at Foxhall Stadium.
The 21-year-old top scored for Peterborough Panthers as Ipswich Witches suffered their fourth home defeat of the year.
King got his wish to ride for the East of England Showground club when he signed a one-year loan deal last winter, and on his first return to Foxhall he showed that he had lost none of track craft.
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Ipswich were found wanting in the main body of their side as Tobi Kroner's efforts ensured that the Witches' reserve contributions equalled that of King and his partner Richard Hall.
Thanks mainly to Kroner and skipper Chris Louis, Ipswich kept the meeting alive until the final heat before losing 46-43. A 5-1 to the Witches would have seen them gain a one-point victory.
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But the big weekend crowd were denied a fairytale finale when Robert Miskowiak was passed by both visiting riders coming out of the second bend in a race won by Louis.
The rider replacement facility for the injured Lukas Dryml accrued nine points - three wins and one last place. This was a bonus for the Panthers as Dryml's record at Foxhall is pretty dismal. But the Witches had their share of good fortune in an eventful night.
Hans Andersen, who rode for Ipswich in 2004 and 2005, was hampered when King turned late on the first bend of the opening race, and the Grand Prix star suffered a rare spill when he hit a wet patch of dirt.
And a 5-1 to Peterborough turned into a 3-2 for the home side in heat three after Zibi Suchecki careered into the fence when at the back, with Louis on the second lap. With the visiting pair well ahead the referee could have awarded the race, but he allowed a re-run. This time Piotr Swiderski made a hefty impact on the second bend fence when leading, allowing Louis to beat Niels-Kristian Iversen in the second re-run.
Kroner made his second electric start of the night to stretch Ipswich's lead in heat four, before King produced a ride that effectively won the Panthers the meeting.
He found enough speed to go around a tentative Jesper B Jensen on the second circuit and then made a determined move that took him through on the inside of Kim Jansson on the final lap.
King's last-to-second burst saw him follow home team-mate Kenneth Bjerre.
Ipswich had some more good fortune when Iversen hit the deck when in second place in race seven before Panthers team manager Trevor Swales' surprise decision to bring in Swiderski for a rider replacement ride paid off with a win for the Pole.
On a track drying out, after proving a test to the more timid when heavy in the early stages, Ipswich's plight was now looking ominous with the in-form Bjerre and Andersen set to be partnered for three of the last six races.
A 5-1 to the visitors in heat nine heightened the fears, and these were confirmed when Bjerre came in for the missing Dryml to grab a 5-1 with Andersen in heat 11.
But Louis and Kroner refused to give up and they both flew inside a slightly dozing Iversen in the next race and then team rode brilliantly for a welcome 5-1.
Ipswich can count themselves lucky when Kroner was allowed back in the re-run of heat 14.
But, after damaging the forks on his second bike in a spectacular first bend fall, the German had to borrow a machine from Louis.
A 4-2 for Peterborough - with King taking the chequered flag for the third time - stretched the visitors' lead to three points, and when Miskowiak came out of the second bend on the final race with his nose ahead of Andersen and Bjerre there was brief hope for Ipswich.