Witches hammered in poor showing

IPSWICH Evening Star Witches crashed to a heavy 55-38 defeat at Lakeside tonight to dent their hopes even further of a top two Elite League finish.

Mike Bacon

IPSWICH Evening Star Witches crashed to a heavy 55-38 defeat at Lakeside tonight to dent their hopes even further of a top two Elite League finish.

The Suffolk side were always likely to be up against it on what is a renowned tricky home track, but in the second part of the meeting they completely capitulated conceding four 5-1 maximums.

Continuing to ride with the rider replacement facility for the injured Chris Louis the visitors were basically a two man team with Pi Swiderski and Tobi Kroner supplying 25 of the team's 38 points.

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Earlier in the day the Witches had been rocked with the news that Jarek Hampel had gone down with food poisoning and Poole's Australian star Davey Watt replaced the Pole but could only contribute meaningfully with one heat victory.

But the main concern of the night was the poor showing of Robert Miskowiak and Steve Johnston.

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Both experienced riders failed to support Swiderski and Kroner with Miskowiak in particular looking a pale shadow of the rider who often lights up Foxhall. His one point return, coupled with his three point return at Swindon has certainly done his team few favours and although Johnston won heat 14, it was too little too late as regards to his performance.

And yet the witches got off to the perfect start with Kroner and Swiderski gating to a 5-1 max over Grand Prix star Andreas Jonsson.

Indeed it was a dream start for the meeting from Kroner who made it two wins out of two in the next with Chris Schramm unable to hold onto third place, as Ricky Kling rounded him on the final bend.

Watt passed Jonas Davidsson on lap two in the next before Miskowiak had the first of his three disappointing last places in heat four with the home side opening up a two point lead.

It was a lead they were set not to relinquish as Swiderski completely missed the start in heat five before Miskowiak just held off the attentions of a half-fight Leigh Lanham in heat six.

Watt had his best spell of the night winning heat seven before busy-boy Kroner and Swiderski rode a superb first lap to bring the Witches within just two points of Lakeside at the halfway stage.

However, two races later and two 5-1 maximums to the home side put them 10 ahead before Swiderski won a 6 point tactical ride in heat 11 although he and Kroner were unable to repeat their previous efforts with Kroner making a poor start.

Adam Shields clearly moved at the start of heat 12 which completely put Watt off although referee Dan Holt let the race continue.

Kroner, now appearing to tire, was passed by both Lobos Tomicek and Shields, and Lakeside guaranteed victory in heat 13 with their fourth 5-1 maximum in five races.

The Witches are on their travels again at Wolverhampton on Monday and another performance like this will have them beginning to look over their shoulders at the likes of Eastbourne who could still pip them for a play off position.


Scorers: A Jonsson 10, L Lanham 3-1, A Shields 14+1, J Davidsson 7+2, J Kylmakorpi 10+1, R Kling 4+4, L Tomicek 7+1,


Scorers: P Swiderski 13+2, R/R D Watt 6, S Johnston 4, R Miskowiak 1+1, T Kroner 12, C Scramm 2

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