Sky-high display as Witches beat Wolves

IPSWICH showed that they mean business in the Elite League play offs when they chalked up a magnificent victory at Wolverhampton last night. The Wolves might be bottom of the Elite League table, but the manner in which the visitors tore them apart suggests that the Suffolk side could still grab the championship at the end of the season.

Elvin King

IPSWICH showed that they mean business in the Elite League play offs when they chalked up a magnificent victory at Wolverhampton last night.

The Wolves might be bottom of the Elite League table, but the manner in which the visitors tore them apart suggests that the Suffolk side could still grab the championship at the end of the season.

This victory confirmed that they will be in the play offs to decide the title, and they could move up into third position above Swindon if they do well in their remaining three league meetings.


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The armchair viewers watching their Monday night speedway on Sky could not help but have been impressed by the manner of the victory, with Ipswich winning 12 of the 15 races.

This was a great performance in an evening that produced some exceptional speedway, with no rider as capable as Ipswich's find of the season, Piotr Swiderski.

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The Pole claimed a full maximum and was involved in some exciting races, but he refused to be beaten - as was typified in the final heat when he was passed going into the last circuit but then kept his cool and wound up his throttle to regain the lead and take the chequered flag.

Swiderski was well supported by his team-mates, with Rory Schlein winning his first four outings in style, and Jarek Hampel winning a couple of heats, including race 12 when Wolves played their last card when Fredrik Lindgren came in as a tactical substitute to start 15 metres adrift and ride for double points.

The home skipper managed to pass Steve Johnston but did not get close to Hampel in what was the only the second heat advantage that the home team gained all evening.

Having had this meeting rained off twice before, there was a certain amount of trepidation when it started to drizzle against all the forecasts 45 minutes before the start. But although this continued until heat 11, it did not get any worse and did little more than freshen up the track.

Ipswich ride at Peterborough on Monday and if they can rediscover this form they will fancy their chances of another away win that would set them up nicely for the play-offs that round off the season.

Ipswich were well supported in the pits with promoter John Louis, rider manager Chris Louis and team manager Pete Simmons all in attendance, and after the disappointment of losing at home to Lakeside on Thursday, Ipswich came to life with Hampel and Robert Miskowiak back in the team.

The rider replacement facility for broken finger victim Tobi Kroner accrued a paid seven points, with the young German expected to be fit to ride again on Monday.

Many of the races had passes in them on a good night for the sport, although Ipswich were helped by the poor form of their former rider, Jesper B Monberg, who came second in his first outing and then failed to score after twice hitting the deck. He was replaced in his programmed final ride in heat 13. Miskowiak had a mixed night being involved in two five-one victories for the visitors, but in heat 5 going from second to last after he had made the gate.

He also had two other last places, while skipper Johnston was a busy man with seven rides from the reserve berth.

Witches fans watching on TV will have delighted in seeing both Swiderski and Schlein win titanic battles with riders of the class of Grand Prix stars Fredrik Lindgren and Iversen with the leads changing hands on a number of occasions before the Ipswich men came out on top.

Particularly Swiderski, who has turned into the best signing of the year, and showed this to great effect to a wide audience last night.

Scorers

Wolverhampton: F Lindgren 13+2, M Risager 5, N-K Iversen 10+1, D Howe 4+2, J-B Monberg 2, L Lindgren 5, N Klindt 1+1.

Ipswich: P Swiderski 15, Rider Replacement for T Kroner, J Hampel 9, R Miskowiak 5+1, R Schlein 13, S Johnston 9+2, C Schramm 1+1.

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