Witches fly in the sun

Ipswich Witches 60 Peterborough Panthers 31THE sun shone and the Evening Star Witches flew.Bottom of the Elite League they maybe, but it is clear the Witches are not set to stay there long after yesterday afternoon's power-packed performance sent Peterborough home with their Panthers' tails well and truly between their legs.

Mike Bacon

Ipswich Witches 60 Peterborough Panthers 31

THE sun shone and the Evening Star Witches flew.

Bottom of the Elite League they maybe, but it is clear the Witches are not set to stay there long after yesterday afternoon's power-packed performance sent Peterborough home with their Panthers' tails well and truly between their legs.


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And it was Robert Miskowiak who led the way, bouncing back to form. The former world under-21 champion, who has been so out of sorts so far this season, banged in a paid 16 points and was huge value every one of them.

The only blot on his copybook was his reaction to fellow Pole Piotr Swiderski's heat six crash which saw Swiderski send both himself and Miskowiak crashing into the fence at high speed.

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It was an accident, but Miskowiak stormed off furiously from the incident, flailing his arms widely. There appears little love lost between both of them, but it needs nipping in the bud.

However forget all that for now.

On the track the Evening Star Witches were quite brilliant. There was some thrilling racing, so often lacking in hot afternoon meetings.

From the moment Swiderski moved Peterborough No.1 Hans Andersen out of the way in the opening heat, the Witches looked good.

The fact Andersen made a right hash of the third turn, allowing Witches stand-in captain Steve Johnston through, simply made it a perfect, rather than good start.

The Evening Star Witches never let up and even without the injured Chris Louis they rattled up heat maximum after heat maximum.

They had a tad of luck, especially in the early heats.

Chris Schramm fell on turn two of heat two and stayed down with team-mate Tobi Kroner trailing the Panthers duo. Schramm could have got off the track, but didn't. He was excluded and Kroner duly won the re-run.

Three heats later, Johnston ended up in a heap on the first turn, in what seemed like a classic case of first-bend bunching.

However referee Dan Holt put out Andersen, who had certainly been in the mix, but seemed no more or less guilty than anyone else.

A 5-1 in that heat put the Witches 10 up and when Kenneth Bjerre was left trailing Jarek Hampel's electric start and Tobi Kroner's brilliant cut-back in heat seven - and when on a tactical ride - it was as good as all over.

The last throw of the dice for the Panthers saw Andersen start 15 metres back for double points in heat eight. However he fell on the first turn, but was reprieved by Schramm falling on the third.

Schramm was excluded, with Andersen under power again, although in the re-run he never threatened Swiderski, who pulled a brilliant manoeuvre on Morten Risager on the final bend to win by a bike's length.

It was plain sailing now for the Witches with Schramm showing real grit with a wheel to wheel win over Bjerre, who eventually retired and Swiderski again denying Andersen in a great heat 13 battle.

Witches asset Danny King came to life at the death in a hairy first lap in the final race, with Miskowiak, Andersen and he all side by side down the back straight.

The Foxhall faithful quite rightly lapped it all up with it proof of how good a side the Witches are capable of being this season.

It was fun in the sun, Witches style.

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