Witches out of Knockout Cup
IPSWICH Witches are out of the Knockout Cup, the Suffolk side failing to hang on to their eight point first leg advantage in the rain at Wolves tonight.
Knockout Cup second leg: Wolverhampton Wolves 54 Ipswich Evening Star Witches 38 (aggregate 96-88)
IPSWICH Witches are out of the Knockout Cup, the Suffolk side failing to hang on to their eight point first leg advantage, in the rain at Wolves tonight.
On a bitterly cold evening, when the racing was rushed through, the visitors battled gamely, but once the home side caught up on aggregate there only looked like being one winner. Pole Piotr Swiderski again shone like a beacon for Ipswich.
He scored 15 points and was head and shoulders above his team mates, while Shaun Tacey again guested in place of Chris Schramm, who received treatment today on his fractured foot.
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Ipswich were up for it early on with Swiderski and Miskowiak actually extending their aggregate advance in the first race.
Kroner lead from the start in heat two and in the second meeting in succession guest Tacey briefly followed him. However, it was soon over with the Ipswich-based rider coming close to his team mate and having to put the bike down.
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Heat three was stopped after Louis moved at the start. In the re-run, as the rain started to fall Louis again made the start, but was soon passed around the outside by Iversen. With Johnston taking third though, the Witches kept a narrow two point advantage on the night.
That was soon eaten up in the next with a Wolves 5-1 from Howe and Hefenbrock over Hampel and Tacey, with the latter dropping a chain on the last lap.
Home star Iversen won the fifth from Swiderski and Miskowiak and then with the rain falling heavier Hampel looked quick as he defeated Lindgren in the sixth, although the Wolves rider came close to rounding the pole on the second lap.
Wolves hammered home another 5-1 in the seventh to extend their lead to six before Swiderski scythed his way past Hefenbrock to take the eighth.
The Witches pair were the first to the tapes in heat nine, but Kroner had to turn round and go back to the pits with bike problems, a breather pipe having come adrift.
The German failed to fix it in time and was excluded with Kasey taking his place.
As the heat got under way Hampel showed first, but Iversen powered round him on the bottom bends as Wolves levelled it on aggregate by going eight up on the night.
Louis took Lindgren as wide as he dared in the tenth but the Dane still found his way round the outside of everyone as Wolves hammered home their second 5-1 in four heats.
You had a feeling that the rain, which had now stopped, would be the only thing which would save the Witches, but manager Pete Simmons brought in Swiderski for a tactical ride.
The race was re-run but after the Pole appeared to be impeded by Clindt as the tapes rose for the first time.
At the second attempt Swiderski got around Clindt but couldn't beat Howe, although with Miskowiak finished third as the Witches clawed a couple back.
Hopes for a revival were shortlived with Wolves hammering another 5-1 in the twelfth despite Kroner's efforts and although the Witches were on a 5-1 in the thirteenth Hampel was passed by both Wolves riders in a shared heat.
Clindt won the fourteenth from Johnston before Swiderski pulled off a stunning ride to finish his own evening in style by winning the fifteenth.
Ipswich will be disappointed in going out of the Knockout Cup so early, but after letting a good advantage slide in the latter stages at home they were always facing an up hill task in this leg.
Wolverhampton: F Lindgren 8+1, A Dryml 4+3, N K Iversen 14, K Hansen 2, D Howel 11+2, N Clindt 8, C Hefenbrock 7+3
Ipswich: R Miskowiak 6+2, P Swiderski 15, C Louis 4, S Johnston 4+1, J Hampel 6, T Kroner 3, S Tacey 0
Referee: Ronny Hallen
Track Conditions: Good considering recent weather
Witches Man of the Meeting: Piotr Swiderski, another great performance from the Pole