Witches' lead quickly overhauled

IPSWICH Witches' one-point lead from Thursday's Craven Shield first leg was quickly overhauled at Brandon last night as Coventry took control of the group.

IPSWICH Witches' one-point lead from Thursday's Craven Shield first leg was quickly overhauled at Brandon last night as Coventry took control of the group.

The Bees, back at full strength with British Champion Chris Harris returning to their team, cantered to a clear win on home territory in difficult conditions which eventually forced the meeting to be abandoned after 12 heats.

Ipswich, however, did have the night's outstanding rider in Robert Miskowiak, who was in fast-gating form to romp to three straight wins, heading home in front of the likes of Scott Nicholls and Rory Schlein in impressive style.

But the Witches' chances were badly hit in the early stages when Kim Jansson crashed out of Heat 1 after spinning and losing control on the third bend. The following Coventry riders did well to avoid him, but guest Kevin Doolan appeared to just clip him, and Jansson was taken to hospital complaining of back pains.


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Fortunately, Witches promoter John Louis was able to report after the meeting that there appeared to be no significant damage to the Swede.

Without Jansson, reserve Marcin Rempala had a busy night as he rode in five of the 12 races, but Miskowiak was the main force for the Witches.

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They started in encouraging fashion with Tobias Kroner a tapes-to-flag winner of Heat 2 and Chris Louis passing Tommy Allen on the line, but it was not long before the Bees established an advantage.

The home side went in front with a 5-1 in Heat 3 as Wolverhampton's Peter Karlsson punctured whilst in second place, and Rempala was edged out of second place by Schlein in the closing stages of Heat 4.

That 4-2 over the Bees was the Witches' final heat advantage of the night, and two more 5-1s for Coventry over Wolves saw them continue to dominate.

Miskowiak rode superbly to head home Nicholls in Heat 10, and Doolan also put in plenty of effort, but there were no arguments from any of the three sides when a halt was called with Coventry now holding a nine-point aggregate lead over the Witches.

COVENTRY: Scott Nicholls 8, Billy Janniro 4+2, Chris Harris 5+1, Steve Johnston 5+1, Rory Schlein 6+1, Martin Smolinski 3.

IPSWICH: Kevin Doolan 5, Kim Jansson 0, Chris Louis 3, Tobias Kroner 3, Robert Miskowiak 9, Marcin Rempala 1.

WOLVERHAMPTON: Peter Karlsson 4, William Lawson 2, Fredrik Lindgren 3, Billy Hamill 7+1, David Howe 4+1.

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