Witches take honours against Aces

Ipswich Witches 48

Belle Vue Aces 42

Sky Sports Elite League B

Ipswich 2pts Belle Vue 1pt

IPSWICH Witches staged a late meeting surge to come out on top in their Elite League fixture at Foxhall Stadium last night.

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Their deserved victory against the poor travellers from Manchester broke a sequence of home results that went back to the start of the season.

Previously every victory has been followed by a defeat and vice versa, and when the Aces were still level after 10 races they looked capable of putting more misery Ipswich’s way.

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But the Witches were able to follow up their thrashing of Swindon in the previous meeting on the heath to make it two victories on the trot and relieve the gloom somewhat for the team destined to collect the wooden spoon.

Pride was at stake and in front of a sparse crowd, the home riders showed this with number one Scot Nicholls leading the way as usual.

Most of the home riders dipped in with an important ride along the way although a 4-2 to the visitors in the final race denied Ipswich a chance to collect the maximum three league points.

Chris Schramm was in good form for the Aces and it was just as well that James Wright was off song and that guest Claus Jakobsen found the step up from the lower league a move too far.

A new Foxhall track record was created in the first race when Aces skipper and former Witch Hans Andersen clipped one tenth of a second off the time clocked by Simon Gustafsson on May 20.

Andersen’s time of 57.7 seconds is just two tenths of a second slower than Jarek Hampel’s record for the Foxhall circuit before it was revamped last winter. The Pole’s time was established in September 2002.

The visitors drafted in Birmingham Premier League rider Jakobsen for Filip Sitera who was involved in commitments in his native Czech Republic while former Ipswich reserve Schramm filled the gap left by the injured Ulrich Ostergaard.

Any thought that the Witches would have an easy rider were discounted when Schramm chased Robert Miskowiak all the way in heat four that was not completed until 8.35pm after all the hold-ups and passed the Pole on the line.

Miskowiak had taken a hefty tumble in the first attempt to run the race and had to switch to his second machine for the next two re-runs

With Chris Slabon a doubt for the rest of the season after damaging his hand at Eastbourne last week, Ipswich used the rider replacement facility last night with the two reserves and Ales Dryml eligible to take extra rides.

Dryml made a mess of his extra ride in heat eight when he hit the deck on the second turn as the facility accrued just one point.

But otherwise Dryml did okay and along with Daniel King notched a welcome 5-1 in heat nine to bring the scores level again and set up and exciting finish to the meeting.

Consecutive 4-2 successes in heat 11 and 12 gave Ipswich a four-point lead and Nicholls make a spectacular pass on Andersen coming out of the second lap to win heat 13 and keep the advantage when the Aces looked set to put themselves in a menacing position for the final two races.

Dawid Stachyra came up trumps in heat 14 when he roared from the inside gate to win in style, and with Dryml on his tail Ipswich confirmed victory.

Scorers: Ipswich: S Nicholls 13, Rider replacement for C Slabon, D King 8+2, A Dryml 8+2, R Miskowiak 6, D Stachyra 7+2, K Smith 6.

Belle Vue: H Andersen 11, J Wright 1, L Lanham 4+1, P Hougaard 8, P Karlsson 7+2, C Schramm 10+1, C Jakobsen 1.

Heat details

1 Andersen, Nicholls, Stachyra, Wright, 57.7 3-3

2 Smith, Stachyra, Jakobsen. Schramm (exc), 59.6 8-4

3 Hougaard, Dryml, King, Lanham, 59.1 11-7

4 Karlsson, Schramm, Miskowiak. Smith (exc), 59.7 12-12

5 Andersen, Dryml, King, Wright, 59.1 15-15

6 Nicholls, Schramm, Karlsson, Smith, 59.6 18-18

7 Hougaard, Miskowiak, Lanham. Stachyra (ret), 60.1 20-22

8 Schramm, Smith, Wright. Dryml (ret), 60.7 22-26

9 King, Dryml, Karlsson, Jakobsen, 59.3 27-27

10 Nicholls, Hougaard, Lanham, Smith, 59.6 30-30

11 Miskowiak, Schramm, Stachyra, Andersen, 60.4 34-32

12 King, Lanham, Smith, Jakobsen, 60.6 38-34

13 Nicholls, Andersen, Karlsson, Miskowiak, 60.1 41-37

14 Stachyra, Dryml, Schramm, Hougaard, 60.3 46-38

15 Andersen, Nicholls, Karlsson, King, 60.0 48-42

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