Hapless Ipswich Witches are thrashed at Swindon
- Credit: Picture: Steve Waller
Swindon Robins 66 Ipswich Witches 24
Ipswich Witches suffered their heaviest defeat of the season after a crushing 42-point defeat at Swindon.
The Suffolk side were completely demolished by a high-riding Robins side who are hitting form at just the right time ahead of the play-offs. The same cannot be said about the Witches.
Ipswich failed to produce a single heat winner all night and these must now be worrying times for the management duo of Ritchie Hawkins and Chris Louis as they try to lift their team to make sure a season that has been so successful up to now doesn't end as a damp squib.
They now have to pick themselves up, and quickly, as Poole come to town on Thursday night.
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Both Adam Ellis (Swindon) and Chris Harris of the Witches went through the tapes in a nervy heat one. When it did eventually get underway it was former world champion Jason Doyle who won easily.
Edward Kennett and Claus Vissing clashed on the opening bend in heat two.
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It was a re-run with all four as the first two heats took nearly 30 minutes to take place.
The Witches fell behind when heat two did eventually get underway, Krystian Pieszczek splitting the Robins.
The home side got into the groove with a 5-1 maximum in the next and already the Suffolk side were six down.
Pieszczek was the next to go through the tapes in a bizarre opening to the meeting. He went off 15m, but neither he nor skipper Danny King could do anything as the Robins flew from the start and Ipswich had made a poor start to the meeting.
It got worse in the next as Swindon hammered home a third maximum on the bounce and at 14 points down the meeting was already well away from the Witches.
Ellis cut back to join parter Doyle at the front in the next, as the Witches continued to toil and Allen was excluded for missing the two minutes in the heat seven.
It was turning into a shocker for a Witches side who started the day in second place in the Premiership.
King did at least arrest the Swindon onslaught as he split the Robins, but normal service was resumed for the home side in heat eight as Vissing passed Kennett.
Rasmus Jensen passed both Witches as Harris came in for a tactical ride and King split the Robins, but the meeting was all over with five races to go.
Kennett withdrew from the meeting with an elbow injury and the Witches could only field one rider in heat 13. Not that it mattered a jot.
1 Doyle, Pieszczek, Lawson, Perks 62.5 3-3
2 Perks, Pieszczek, Vissing, Kennett (R) 62.3 7-5
3 Jensen, Musielak, Allen, King 61.6 12-6
4 Batchelor, Vissing, King, Pieszczek (15m) 62.7 17-7
5 Jensen, Musielak, Lawson, Harris 62.0 22-8
6 Ellis, Doyle, Allen, Pieszczek (r) 62.2 27-9
7 Batchelor, King, Perks, Allen 62.8 31-11
8 Vissing, Ellis, Kennett, Lawson 62.7 36-12
9 Musielak, Jensen, Pieszczek, Harris* 62.8 41-13
10 Ellis, King, Doyle, Allen 63.2 45-15
11 Batchelor, Harris, Lawson, Perks 62.8 48-18
12 Jensen, Pieszczek, Vissing, King 62.8 52-20
13 Doyle, Batchelor, Harris (3 riders only) 63.7 57-21
14 Vissing, Allen, Perks, Pieszczek (r) 63.1 61-23
15 Ellis, Doyle, King, Lawson 63.2 66-24
Swindon 3 pts. Ipswich 0 pts.
Swindon: J Doyle 11+2, A Ellis 11+1, R Jensen 11+1, T Musielak 7+2, T Batchelor 11+1, E Perks 5, C Vissing 10+1
Ipswich: C Harris 3, R Lawson 3+2, D King 6, J Allen 4, R/R, K Pieszczek 7, E Kennett 1
Poole 19 39
Swindon 20 39
Ipswich 21 39
Belle Vue 22 35
Wolves 21 35
King's Lynn 19 31
Peterborough 20 17