Witches sign off with eighth home defeat

IPSWICH Evening Star Witches slumped to their eighth home Sky Sports Elite League defeat of a highly disappointing season at Foxhall Stadium last night.

By Elvin King

IPSWICH Evening Star Witches slumped to their eighth home Sky Sports Elite League defeat of a highly disappointing season at Foxhall Stadium last night.

It was the last Witches league meeting of the season, and the fans who have lasted the pace and stayed loyal to the club went home hoping for a big improvement in 2008.

Jacek Rempala, who rode briefly for the club in 1992 and is an Ipswich asset, came in for Kim Jansson on a night when Robert Miskowiak was again the start of the show and was backed up by fellow Pole Marcin Rempala.

Jason Crump was quick off the mark, winning heat one, with Tobi Kroner getting the better of Troy Batchelor for second place. And the Pirates plundered another 4-2 in the second heat with Tai Woffinden taking the chequered flag and Marcin Rempala going past young Pole Adrian Gomolski down the back straight for second place. Woffinden was highly recommended to Ipswich by former Witch Nigel Flatman three years ago likening the Perth, Australia youngster to the 'next Billy Sanders'.

Now owned by Wolverhampton, Woffinden is the joint number seven with Steve Boxhall at Poole.

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Jason Doyne slipped off when third on the third lap of race three to give Ipswich a 3-3 with Chris Louis chasing Bjarne Pedersen right to the line.

In heat four, the Witches pulled back two points when Miskowiak rounded up the two visiting riders going round the second bend and Zibi Suchecki gaining a point after Edward Kennett fell off before remounting.

Louis suffered the misfortune of suffering machine problems when going up to the tapes before heat five, and hastily borrowed a machine from Miskowiak in a race won by Crump with his Australian team mate Batchelor in second place.

This put the Pirates into a six-point lead, but Ipswich hit back immediately with the fast-gating Miskowiak and Jacek Rempala taking the honours after Miskowiak had tumbled on the first bend in the original attempt to run the race.

Miskowiak gated to another victory in race seven, but Poole stretched their lead to four points in heat eight with Batchelor having another good race to take the three points.

Edward Kennett did well to hold off Kroner on the third and fourth bends to win the next race, and Poole then took control with a 5-1 from Pedersen and Jason Doyle in after Louis had been caught out trying to anticipate the start. Miskowiak survived a scare on the last circuit to chalk up a notable win over two-time world champion Crump.

He made an error and touched the fence coming out of the second end causing Crump to shut off as the Pole wobbled back into the centre of the track.

But it had been a clean break by Miskowiak and he deserved his three points before apologising to Crump. Louis won heat 12 in style, but a disappointing Suchecki was at the back.

Doyle's win in heat 14 clinched victory for the visitors, and another poor night for Ipswich.

Ipswich: Rider replacement for JB Jensen, J Rempala 2+1, C Louis 11, T Kroner 4+2, R Miskowiak 15+1, M Rempala 8+1, Z Suchecki 1.

Poole: J Crump 14, T Batchelor 6+1, B Pedersen 7+3, J Doyle 8, E Kennett 3, T Woffinden 6, A Gomolski 5.

JACEK Rempala will guest for Jesper B Jensen in the third and final leg of the Craven Shield at Wolverhampton on Monday. Zibi Suchecki comes in for the injured Kim Jansson and will partner Rempala.

Ipswich are nine points behind Coventry going into Monday's meeting. Jansson has had a set-back after suffering a back injury at Coventry last week and is going to hospital for further X-rays.

KEVIN Wolbert, the 18-year-old who finished fourth in the German championship, will be one of the riders in next Thursday's 16-Lap Classic at Foxhall Stadium. Lakeside's Adam Shields will be another rider in the field along with ex-Witch Mariusz Puszakowski, young Pole Dawid Stachyra, plus Slovakian teenager Martin Vaculik.

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