Witches' interest in Craven Shield ends

IPSWICH'S hopes of progressing to the Craven Shield Final were ruthlessly demolished by Coventry at Wolverhampton last night. Trailing the newly-crowned league champions by nine points, and with the home side a further 21 points adrift, the Witches had genuine hopes of progress.

IPSWICH'S hopes of progressing to the Craven Shield Final were ruthlessly demolished by Coventry at Wolverhampton last night.

Trailing the newly-crowned league champions by nine points, and with the home side a further 21 points adrift, the Witches had genuine hopes of progress.

When Coventry had only managed to extend their lead by two points after the first round of races those hopes were still alive. But a disastrous spell saw Ipswich take only four points from their next four races, while Coventry added 17.

Grand Prix stars Scott Nicholls and Chris Harris warmed up for Saturday's $100,000 final GP of the season in Germany with dominant performances for Coventry, while Peter Karlsson and Fredrik Lindgren scored solidly for the home side.


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Ipswich carried too many passengers to mount a real challenge, with only Robert Miskowiak, Chris Louis and Tobias Kroner offering any real resistance.

Miskowiak was involved in two of the best races of the night. In Heat 8 he tried everything in a four-lap battle to get the better of Coventry's Australian Rory Schlein, the pair exchanging passes before the Coventry rider took the victory.

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In Heat 12 Wolves Billy Hamill passed the Pole on the back straight, only for the Witches man to re-take the lead off the third turn.

By that time, Coventry's progress to the final was already assured, and with Wolves battling hard to restore lost pride after poor performances in the opening two legs, the Witches were left to pick up scraps, but they did manage to end the night on a high, as Louis and Kroner secured a 5-1 in the final race.

With next season's team building in mind, the Witches management will have seen little from their lesser lights in this performance. Louis's contribution to the team remains vital, Miskowiak's excitement will always attract the fans and Kroner's promise looks worth persevering with.

Result: Wolverhampton Wolves 35, Coventry Bees 49, Ipswich Witches 24.

Aggregate scores: Coventry Bees 122, Ipswich Witches 88, Wolverhampton Wolves 78.

Wolves: Peter Karlsson 11, William Lawson 3 + 1, Fredrik Lindgren 9 + 1, Kenneth Hansen 4 + 1, Billy Hamill 6, James Grieves 2.

Coventry: Scott Nicholls 10 +1, Billy Janniro 6 + 2, Chris Harris 12, Martin Smolinski 4 + 1, Rory Schlein 10 + 1, Steve Johnston 7 + 2.

Ipswich: Jacek Rempala 4, Chris Schramm 0, Chris Louis 7 + 1, Tobias Kroner 5 + 2, Robert Miskowiak 7, Marcin Rempala 1.

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