Wow! Witches crash to huge home defeat as Robins prove far too good
- Credit: Picture: Steve Waller
Ipswich Witches 37 Swindon Robins 53
Ipswich Witches missed the chance to go top of the Premiership after they were given a gating lesson at Foxhall Stadium last night as Swindon Robins ran out 37-53 winners.
The Wiltshire side were in determined mood from the off and Ipswich's battling qualities that has held them in good stead for much of this season, were not on display this time.
It was a poor show from the home side in front of a big Foxhall crowd. They conceded a 5-1 in the first race and by heat five were ten points behind.
No Witch, only guest Nico Covatti, who was replacing the banned Edward Kennett, came out with any credit on a night to forget for the home team and their fans.
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Again No.1 Chris Harris struggled and his run of poor Foxhall form must be a concern for the Foxhall management as the play-offs close in.
OK, the Witches still sit in the play-offs and in a good position.
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But now would be a good time to regroup as the Witches have been less impressive this season at home than away. And with three vital home meetings still to come, they need to respond quickly.
Ipswich were grateful to Covatti who was the stand-out Witches rider on what was a sorry night for Ritchie Hawkins' side.
It was the Robins who set the tone for the night as Adam Ellis gated and Grand Prix star Jason Doyle joined him at the front.
The Witches looked good for a maximum after bend two of heat two, but as Covatti flew past partner Krystian Pieszczek, the Pole lost composure and both Robins nipped through.
Swindon were away again in the next, but Danny King managed to split the Robins pair, but the Witches were six behind. Troy Batchelor flew from the outside gate in the next as the Witches continued to struggle to get their gating boots on.
Doyle and Ellis repeated their heat one heroics as the Witches went 10 behind and even when they looked like pulling a point or two back as Chris Harris led heat six, Batchelor flew inside the Ipswich No.1.
It was relentless from Swindon and the Witches had no answer.
Rasmus Jensen did a 360 degree turn on bend one of heat seven but it mattered not for the visitors as Tobias Musielak won and the Witches, who had produced just one heat winner in seven races remained 10 down.
Covatti was the only Witch looking likely and he won heat eight as Heeps' third place at least gave the Witches a heat advantage. But at eight down there was a long way to go for the home side.
Batchelor held off Covatti's attentions in the next as Swindon's heat leaders continued to dominate.
It was becoming a rout as Jensen and Musielak hammered another maximum and Ipswich were 12 behind. Doyle won again as King at gave Ipswich a bit of pride winning heat 12. But when Doyle and Batchelor roared to victory in the next, with Harris replaced by King as a tactical substitue, it was meeting over.
There was still time for Allen and Ellis Perks to have a good ding-dong in heat 14 as Batchelor completed an impressive paid maximum in the last race.
1 Ellis, Doyle, Heeps, Harris 56.3 1-5
2 Covatti, Doolan, Perks, Pieszczek 57.6 4-8
3 Jensen, King, Musieiak, Allen 56.8 6-12
4 Batchelor, Covatti, Lawson, Doolan 56.9 9-15
5 Doyle, Ellis, King, Allen 56.7 10-20
6 Batchelor, Harris, Heeps, Perks 57.7 13-23
7 Musieiak, Lawson, Pieszczek, Jensen (r) 57.5 16-26
8 Covatti, Ellis, Heeps, Doolan 57.5 20-28
9 Batchelor, Covatti, King, Perks 57.6 23-31
10 Musielak, Jensen, Heeps, Harris 57.1 24-36
11 Doyle, Lawson, Pieszczek, Ellis 57.0 27-39
12 King, Perks, Covatti, Jensen 57.4 31-41
13 Doyle, Batchelor, King*, Lawson 56.9 32-46
14 Musielak, Allen, Perks, Peiszczek 57.6 34-50
15 Batchelor, Harris, Covatti, Musielak (15m) 57.3 37-53
Ipswich 0 pts. Swindon 4 pts.
Ipswich: C Harris 4, C Heeps 4+1, D King 8+1, J Allen 2, R Lawson 5+1, K Pieszczek 2+2, N Covatti 12+1
Swindon: J Doyle 11+1, A Ellis 7+1, R Jensen 5+1, T Musielak 10, T Batchelor 14+1, E Perks 4+1, K Doolan 2.
Poole 16 36
Ipswich 19 36
Belle Vue 20 35
Swindon 17 32
Wolves 19 29
King's Lynn 17 25
Peterborough 18 17