Witches collapse to defeat at Coventry

IPSWICH Witches collapsed in the closing stages at Coventry last night after being on course for a more than respectable result at the half-way stage and consequently lost their Sky Sports Elite League meeting 57-33.

IPSWICH Witches collapsed in the closing stages at Coventry last night after being on course for a more than respectable result at the half-way stage and consequently lost their Sky Sports Elite League meeting 57-33.

Despite still being without the injured Jesper B Jensen, who generally goes well at Brandon, they trailed by just four points after seven heats.

At that stage both Robert Miskowiak and Chris Louis were making good starts, and Zibi Suchecki was providing plenty of entertainment.

But the home side stepped things up a gear and ended with four 5-1s in a row to end up convincing winners, also comfortably taking the aggregate point after their win at Foxhall last month.


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Witches made a far from ideal start as they conceded maximum points in Heat 1, and although Tobias Kroner was a convincing winner of the reserves' race, two 4-2s to the home side gave them a convincing early advantage.

However, the comeback began with Louis winning two of the next three heats, Miskowiak taking the other, and with third-places from Marcin Rempala and Suchecki in Heats 6 and 7, the Witches had halved the deficit to four points.

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Suchecki, in fact, was so close to a 5-1 over Bees star Chris Harris as he team-rode with Louis for three laps before slipping up at the start of the last lap to allow the Coventry man through.

The hard work, though, received a setback when guest Kevin Doolan and Steve Johnston left Chris Schramm and Kroner trailing in Heat 8, although the Coventry lead was pegged at eight points with Miskowiak winning his second straight race.

At 34-26 with five heats to go, Witches still had a chance of pulling off a real upset, although they had already used their top two riders to cover for Jensen, so the final heats were always going to be difficult.

It became even tougher when Suchecki was timed out of Heat 11 for taking more than two minutes, and Harris and Billy Janniro took full advantage.

Things then turned totally against the Witches when Louis took a tactical ride in Heat 12.

The captain was close to rounding Scott Nicholls out of the second bend, but then, just as Johnston was trying to cut inside him, Louis' bike suddenly expired on turn three. He was unable to finish the heat and so the Witches were unable to take any double points.

Miskowiak then flew from the outside to upstage Nicholls and Harris in Heat 13, riding a fast line to deny Coventry's Grand Prix duo, and manager Mike Smillie must have been frustrated that it was not a six-pointer, although his choice of Louis in the previous race had appeared a sound one.

Coventry then put the seal on proceedings by finishing with two 5-1s, Heat 14 producing fine action between the two German riders as Martin Smolinski just got the better of Kroner.

Nicholls and Harris were clearly determined to beat Miskowiak in Heat 15, but in fact it was Suchecki who made the better start only to be overhauled in the early stages by both Bees riders.

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