Witches miss star Harris in narrow defeat at Pirates
- Credit: Picture: Steve Waller
Premiership Poole Pirates 48 Ipswich Witches 42 The Ipswich Witches had to make do with a consolation league point, following a narrow defeat on the South Coast tonight, writes Steve Waller.
In was a topsy-turvy affair at Wimborne Road, with little between the two sides in the first half of the meeting, with the scores tied at 27 points apiece after nine heats.
The deadlock was broken in the tenth when Poole guest Ben Barker won from Danny King and with Nicolai Klindt holding off Richard Lawson for a point, the Pirates went two in front.
A 5-1 for the home side in the next took them six up and although King and Edward Kennett filled the minor places in the twelfth, another home advantage in the thirteenth left the Witches needing two maximum race advantages to snatch a draw and it wasn't to be, despite King winning the final two heats.
The Witches had got off to a flying start with Cameron Heeps and guest Scott Nicholls, deputising for Chris Harris, getting a 5-1 maximum over Ben Barker and Jack Holder in the opening heat.
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However, following a Pirates 4-2 in the second and a maximum in for the home side in the third, the visitors soon found themselves trailing in the meeting.
Krystian Pieszczek touched the tapes in the fourth and was excluded, with Edward Kennett taking his place, alongside fellow reserve Jake Allen, who won from Jack Holder, with Kennett third, as the Suffolk side levelled the scores at 12-12.
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They were soon behind again with Nicholls and Heeps unable to repeat their opening heat success, as they were defeated in the fifth.
But again the Suffolk side fought back, with Kennett and Pieszczek roaring to a 5-1 in the next.
King won the seventh and Allen the eighth, to keep it all square and then Kennett and Pieszczek followed home Grajczonek in the ninth, as the two sides couldn't be separated, ahead of the home side stamping their authority over the final few heats.
The meeting saw a good return to form for skipper King and he received good back-up from Kennett and Allen at reserve, but the Witches looked to have missed number one Harris, who was travelling to Russia to represent Team GB.
POOLE: Ben Barker 5, Nicolai Klindt 10+2, Josh Grajczonek 10, Jack Holder 10+2, Nico Covatti 10+2, Ricky Wells 3
IPSWICH: Scott Nicholls 4+1, Cameron Heeps 3, Danny King 13, Richard Lawson 1, Krystian Pieszczek 5+2, Edward Kennett 9+1, Jake Allen 7