Witches stage remarkable comeback

Ipswich Witches 49

Lakeside Hammers 43

Sky Sports Elite League B

Ipswich 2pts Lakeside 1pt

IPSWICH Witches staged a magnificent fight back to pip Essex neighbours Lakeside at Foxhall Stadium last night.


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When they went 12 points down after seven races the writing looked on the wall for their sixth home Elite League defeat of the campaign.

But the bottom-of the-table Suffolk-based side pulled up their socks and at last got to grips with the meeting to eventually send their fans home delighted.

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It has been a remarkable season at Foxhall with the Witches continuing a sequence of winning one meeting and then losing the next.

This looked like being broken as the rampant Hammers looked as though they were going to rout the home side. They provided one heat advantage after another and it was not until heat nine that the Witches started to turn things around.

It is looking almost inevitable that Ipswich will be wooden spoonists although their fans appear to be staying mainly loyal with a higher than average attendance to watch the play-off chasing Hammers in action.

But if they carry on where they left of last night there will be a chance they can move up the table.

Lakeside were upset when Peter Ljung was excluded after a first bend bunch-up in heat 11, and they appeared to be on the point of confirming their victory when Lee Richardson and Adam Shields were on a 5-1 two races later.

Shields then lost control after hitting some dirt and crashed into the fence.

In the re-run Scott Nicholls - on his second bike after struggling a bit early on – came from behind to follow him Ales Dryml to put Ipswich into the lead for the first time.

It was a slice of good fortune, but one Ipswich deserved.

This was after the plucky Danny King and the classy Linus Sundtsrom had combined for a 5-1 in heat 12 as the fight-0back gained momentum.

Dryml became a favourite of the fans in the next race as the meeting ended on a real high for home supporters by passing Stuart Robson and following home the supreme Sundstron in heat 12.

It could have been all three league points for Ipswich as they were in a 5-1 position in the final race when Nicholls spun round on the second circuit.

Ipswich were looking for Pole Chris Slabon to freshen up the side after replacing Olly Allen in the side, but in his second meeting in a Witches race jacket since his return he again struggled to find the best way round after making reasonable starts.

But there is hope with Dryml, who is a proven international rider, showing last night that once you have the measure of the circuit you come up with the goods.

Some Ipswich fans were losing heart with the disappointing Witches performances, but if they continue to ride – and provide the entertainment – they did in the final stages last night all will soon be forgicven.

The rider replacement facility for the injured Robert Miskowiak accrued six points with number eight Richie Hawkins taking one of Miskowiak’s four programmed rides.

Scorers: Ipswich: S Nicholls 8+2, C Slabon 0, D King 14+1, A Dryml 8+2, rider replacement for R Miskowiak, D Stachyra 4+1, L Sundstrom 14. No 8: R Hawkins 1.

Lakeside: L Richardson 11, P Ljung3+2, K Nieminen 5+1, J Davidsson 7, A Shields 10+1, P Hurry 3, S Robson 4+1.

Heat details

1 Richardson, Nicholls, Ljung, Slabon 58.1 2-4

2 Stachyraall, Hurry, Robson, Sundstrom, 58.9 5-7

3 Davidsson, Dryml, Nieminen. King (fell), 58.6 7-11

4 Shields, Sundstrom, Robson, Stachyra, 58.3 9-15

5 King, Richardson, Ljung, Dryml, 58.6 12-18

6 Shields, Nicholls, Hurry, Slabon, 58.2 14-22

7 Davidsson, Nieminen, Hawkins, Stachyra, 59.1 15-27

8 Sundstrom, Robson, Ljung, Slabon, 59.1 18-30

9 Shields, King*, Dryml, Hurry, 58.8 23-33

10 Sundstrom, Nicholls, Nieminen, Davidsson, 59.2 28-3

11 Richardson, King, Stachyra. Ljung (f/exc), 59.4 31-37

12 Sundstrom, King, Nieminen, Hurry, 97.2 36-38

13 Dryml, Nicholls, Richardson. Shields (f/exc) 60.5 41-39

14 Sundstrom, Dryml, Davidsson, Robson, 59.3 46-40

15 King, Richardson, Shields. Nicholls (ret), 59.9 49-43

* = tactical ride for double points

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