Witches suffer second rain-off

IPSWICH Witches had their second rain-off of the 2009 season when last night's Elite League meeting against Eastbourne was called off at 7pm.A steady drizzle had turned into steady rain by this time and referee Phil Griffin had no option than to call a halt.

Elvin King

IPSWICH Witches had their second rain-off of the 2009 season when last night's Elite League meeting against Eastbourne was called off at 7pm.

A steady drizzle had turned into steady rain by this time and referee Phil Griffin had no option than to call a halt.

No new re-staging date has yet been decided - with the Witches already having their scheduled Knock-Out Cup home leg against Belle Vue postponed on March 26.

By the 7.45pm start time the track was under water in places and rain continued well into the night.

Witches team manager Pete Simmons said: “We were all ready to go and all the lads were up for it.

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“We were looking to build on last Friday's home win over Lakeside and move off the foot of the table.

“Our next meeting is the cup leg in Manchester against Belle Vue on Monday, and we will need to stay positive for that one and do a professional job.

“The tie will be decided at Foxhall in the second leg but we must ensure we do what is required of us on Monday.”

Ipswich will have Carl Wilkinson available, and expect to be unchanged from the side programmed last night.

“It has not been the best of starts for us this year and we are looking at the lads,” added Simmons.

“But we need to ride and it was a blow not to see some action against the Eagles although there was no alternative than to call an early halt.”

It was a six-hour round trip for Wilkinson last night and, with his Scunthorpe Premier League duties, he is in the middle of a hectic schedule.

Witches No.1 Jarek Hampel, who qualified in second place in the first 2010 Grand Prix qualifier in Germany last weekend, flew in from Poland yesterday afternoon and, like fellow countrymen Piotr Swiderski and Dawid Stachyra, was due to fly out again this morning.

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