Witches show character to pull off win

Ipswich Witches 50 Poole Pirates 40IPSWICH Witches showed their character to pull off an unlikely victory against a fancied Poole site at Foxhall Stadium last night.

By Elvin King

Ipswich Witches 50 Poole Pirates 40

IPSWICH Witches showed their character to pull off an unlikely victory against a fancied Poole site at Foxhall Stadium last night.

The home team were up against it as Piotr “Pepe” Protasiewicz had to call off because of a back injury sustained at the weekend.

The Pole has been top-scoring for the Witches, but as he is only third in their list of averages it meant that number two driver, Mark Loram, was unable to take a rider replacement ride.

This put added pressure on the rest of the depleted Ipswich team, and with Jan Jaros also out with a wrist injury, Ipswich had an unusual look about them.

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But, after a hesitant start, they got the bit between their teeth and, in a rare Monday home meeting, ran out convincing winners.

They were only two points ahead with four races left, with the Pirates looking as though they had the top end strength to plunder an away success.

But Ipswich were in spirited mood and having been buoyed during the interval meeting, they went full throttle into the remaining heats.

Robert Miskowiak won his last two races and he took the chequered flag in heat 12, having been partnered by the plucky Daniel King for three laps of race 12.

Grand Prix rider Antonio Lindback passed King on the last lap, but the Witches were still able to stretch their lead to four points.

They had a stroke of good fortune in the next race when Bjarne Pedersen lifted on the second corner while in front and crashed heavily into the fence.

Thankfully, he was able to get to his feet after treatment and was excluded from the re-run.

Krzystof Kasprzak made the best start, but the referee ruled he had taken an unfair advantage at the tapes.

At the third time of asking, Loram pushed Kasprzak wide and then combined with Chris Louis for a five-one that was received with delight on the terraces.

And there was more to follow for Witches fans when Miskowiak and Carl Wilkinson gated to another maximum success, this time beating Lindback, who had come in as a tactical substitute, starting 15 metres adrift, but with his points counting double.

By the final race, Ipswich were already certain of victory, although Kasprzak had the pleasure of beating Loram to the finishing line.

All the Ipswich riders were impressed with Wilkinson proving a more than adequate replacement for Jaros and the man who rides for Newport in the Premier League could be a handy rider to have in the weeks ahead.

Louis won his first race for Ipswich this month in heat three on a night when the rider-replacement facility for Protasiewicz accrued eight points.

Kim Jansson recovered well after two barren rides, with Miskowiak being paid for 10 points and King for five and doing all that was asked of him.

Loram is an inspirational figure in the Witches' pits these days, and he led by example on a night when Ipswich showed that they have got what it takes to make an impact this year. This is despite King touching the tapes in the reserves' race and having to start 15 metres adrift.

A possible five-one to the home side was lost against the inexperienced Poole Reserves.

And, when Miskowiak lifted and went into the fourth bend fence in heat three, when in a five-one position with Louis on the second lap, another good points haul for Ipswich was lost. Lindback started 15 metres behind, having touched the tapes in this race.

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