Rory sets sights on top-two finish

RORY Schlein has set his sights on a top-two finish with IpswichWitches after helping his new club virtually ensure their play-off berth.

RORY Schlein has set his sights on a top-two finish with IpswichWitches after helping his new club virtually ensure their play-off berth.

The Aussie scored ten points in the first meeting of his loan spell from champions Coventry to help clinch a precious 49-41 success at Eastbourne Eagles, pushing the Sussex side out of the top four in the process.

Daredevil Piotr Swiderski and steady reserve Steve Johnston, Schlein's former skipper with the Bees, also notched ten points apiece as the visitors had their second Arlington success of the season sewn up with a race to go.

Schlein is relishing the chance to grab a second successive title after moving east in a transfer merry-go-round which saw former Witch Hans Andersen end up at Coventry.

The new boy said: "We came here to win and put pressure on the top two and see if we can get that home leg. That's what we are going to be doing from here on in.

"This puts us above Eastbourne and takes a bit of pressure off, knowing we are in the play-offs, but we won't take the foot off the pedal yet because anything can happen.

Most Read

"This year so many people have lost at home and dropped points so we will keep putting the pressure on the top two.

"There were a lot of issues going on at Coventry but I'm at a team now who are pushing for a play-off spot

"Me and Johno won it last year at Coventry. We are going to try and do the same at Ipswich this year."

Schlein played a key part in the heat which turned the tide in Witches' favour.

Eastbourne, already two points up, were on a 5-1 in heat six when he powered inside Cameron Woodward going into bend three.

The home man fell and was excluded and Lee Richardson, who was leading when the race was stopped, mis-judged the start in the re-run as Johnston led Schlein to a maximum.

Witches were never headed from that point, though Eastbourne drew level fleetingly after heat ten.

Schlein said: "It was hard racing. Me and Cam are mates but racing is racing. You've got to throw your weight around a little bit.

"It was just a hard turn. I knew I had to get there because they were on a 5-1.

"I did the same move on Richardson in the re-run. It was an important 5-1 and gave us confidence to go on from there."

Tobias Kroner had two key wins and Swiderski's fabulous pass hurtling outside home star Richardson in heat 13 gave the visitors a six-point lead.

Johnston then made a solid start in heat 14 and the home challenge ended when Lewis Bridger came a cropper in a desperate bid to go outside him on bend two.

Eastbourne scorers: L Richardson 12, C Woodward 3+2, A Shields 11, L Bridger 3+1, E Kennett 6, S Gustafsson 6

J Brundle 0.

Ipswich scorers: P Swiderski 10+2, T.Kroner 7+1, J Hampel 8, R Miskowiak 1, R.Schlein 10+1, S Johnston 10+1, C Schramm 3+1.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter