Witches hammered out of sight by Swindon

THE Ipswich Witches were hammered out of sight on their visit to Swindon last night - just seven days after their excellent win over the Robins at Foxhall Heath.

THE Ipswich Witches were hammered out of sight on their visit to Swindon last night - just seven days after their excellent win over the Robins at Foxhall Heath.

They failed to provide a single race winner all night as Swindon extracted their revenge to go back to the top of the Elite League with a 68-24 victory.

The Witches arrived minus Polish duo Zbigniew Suchecki and Marcin Rempala, using rider replacement for the former while Newport's Chris Schramm came into the reserve berth.

For much of the day there was considerable doubt whether the match would go ahead at all, but the Blunsdon track had been rolled hard to accommodate the rain and their were no disputes that the meeting would go ahead.

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However the night was as black for the Witches as many of the clouds that rolled over the Wiltshire circuit with increasing winds, and a rare glimpse of sunshine.

The match started with a bang as Edward Kennett and Kim Jansson elbowed each other on the entry to the first turn with the bikes locking and both riders falling - happily both were soon up and able to continue.

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In the re-run Jesper Jensen eased past Kennett on the exit from turn two on the first lap as Leigh Adams romped home in a very fast time.

Chris Louis started brightly with second place in Heat 3, but then faded as Ipswich were 12 points down after just four heats.

Heat 5 was drawn with Jensen and Jansson keeping out high-scoring Pole Tomasz Chrzanowski to share the points.

Swindon then rammed home five successive 5-1 heat wins before John Louis unsurprisingly named Jensen for double points in a tactical ride in Heat 10.

Lee Richardson, on his way to a six ride maximum, was never troubled out in front, but Andrew Moore fell and with the race awarded the Witches had their only heat advantage of what was a long night for them.

Other than Jensen it was German Tobias Kroner who showed most spirit in support but he was often overhauled after the first two turns.

On a night when so many of the Witches were poor the biggest single disappointment was former world under-21 champion Robert Miskowiak who was simply not at the races.

Rider replacement for the absent Suchecki yielded only three points with only Jansson and the two reserves eligible for extra races.

By contrast the same rule for Sebastian Ulamek - injured at Foxhall - meant all of the Robins riders were eligible for an extra outing and it yielded 11 points and a bonus.

In all it was a very poor night for the Witches with many fans expecting the weather to win the day and so deciding to stay away.

Perhaps for Ipswich fans that was the right decision to avoid watching their team being handed a thrashing.

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