Witches stung into defeat by Bees
Ipswich Witches 41
Coventry Bees 49
Sky Sports Elite League B
Ipswich 0pts Coventry 4pts
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By Elvin King
IPSWICH Witches were always going to lose this Elite League meeting at Foxhall Stadium last night.
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It was written in the script with the Suffolk-based side having a remarkable record this year of winning one meeting and losing the next.
This sequence looked as though it would be broken at last when team manager Pete Simmons led his side into a four-point lead after four heats.
But in a mirror image to last week when the Witches came back from the dead to beat Lakeside this time around they fell away as the Bees started to buzz.
One of the teams that in theory bottom-placed Ipswich can still catch, the four points that the visitors pocketed was a big blow to the home outfit.
Ipswich’s reserves failed to come up with the goods and were outscored by the Coventry bottom end that included an often impressive Aaron Summers and former Witch Shane Parker who came in as guest and showed in a couple of heats that he has lost none of his appetite for the sport.
But it was at the top end with Krzystof Kasprzak leading from the front with victories in his last four rides that won the day for Coventry.
He received good back up from Ben Barker in particular as the Bees beat Ipswich for the fourth time this year.
For the Witches there were plus points although they now look destined to finish the campaign at the foot of the table and have a play-off with the winners of a four-team competition by teams that end at the top of the Premier League.
The losers of that play-off will either ride in the lower league in 2011 with Ipswich looking to have the fire power to ensure that that does not happen.
Ales Dryml carried on his good work from last Thursday and has now got to grips with the re-vamped Foxhall track and is proving to be a good signing.
And Chris Slabon showed the benefit of getting back into league action with smart wins in his opening two heats.
But with skipper Daniel King off song it was a night that Ipswich were hoping for.
Rory Schlein from Peterborough came in as a guest for Scott Nicholls, who sustained chest injuries in Sweden on Tuesday with the possibility that the Witches number one could have broken a couple of ribs.
And the rider replacement facility was used in the absence of Robert Miskowiak, who is not yet fully recovered from the ankle injury he suffered in a full throttle crash at Wolverhampton last Monday week.
This accrued a paid nine points, while the Bees used the same facility for Chris Harris, who suffered ankle and knee injuries also riding in Sweden on Tuesday. Coventry gained seven points from other riders taking Grand Prix rider Harris’ programmed rides.
Parker came in for Przemyslaw Pawlicki and showed that he has lost none of his appetite for the sport over 20 years since coming over from Australia to join Ipswich.
There was some consolation for Ipswich supporters as they trooped away from Foxhall Stadium – they are bound to beat Swindon in their next home meeting on Monday – it’s written in the script!
Scorers: Ipswich: R Schlein 8+1, C Slabon 8, D King 6+2, A Dryml 14, rider replacement for R Miskowiak, D Stachyra 3+1, K Smith 2. No 8: R Hawkins .
Coventry: K Kasprzak 16, L Bridger 6+2, B Barker 12+2, E Kennett 6, rider replacement for C Harris, A Summers 4+2, S Parker 5+1.
1 Slabon, Kasprzak, Schlein, Bridger, 58.1 2-4
2 Parker, Summers, Stachyra, Smith, 60.3 5-7
3 Dryml, King, Barker, Kennett, 59.5 10-8
4 Slabon, Barker, Smith, Parker, 59.4 14-10
5 Dryml, Kasprzak, Bridger, King, 59.7 17-13
6 Schlein, Kennett, Summers, Slabon, 59.1 20-16
7 Dryml, Kennett, Barker, Stachyra, 60.2 23-19
8 Bridger, Parker, Smith, Slabon, 59.5 24-24
9 Kasprzak, Dryml, King, Summers, 60.4 27-27
10 Barker, Slabon, Schein, Kennett, 59.9 30-3028-3
11 Kasprzak, Bridger, King, Stachyra (ret), 59.8 31-35
12 Barker, King, Summers, Smith, 60.3 33-39
13 Kasprzak, Schlein, Stachyra. Bridger (fell), 59.0 36-42
14 Dryml, Kennett, Stachyra, Parker, 60.0 40-44
15 Kasprzak, Barker, Schlein, Dryml, 59.9 41-4949-43