Witches taken apart by rampant Poole

THIS was just the result Ipswich Witches management must have been dreading. The Witches were completely taken apart by a rampant Poole side at Foxhall stadium last night with the visitors from Dorset winning 58-35 and picking up an easy bonus point into the bargain.

By Mike Bacon

THIS was just the result Ipswich Witches management must have been dreading.

The Witches were completely taken apart by a rampant Poole side at Foxhall stadium last night with the visitors from Dorset winning 58-35 and picking up an easy bonus point into the bargain.

Whilst most Foxhall fans accept the club's plight at the moment after Mark Loram's season-ending injury, this performance was simply not good enough against a side who, admittedly, are very strong at the top end, then only boast five riders, none of who even enjoy an average of six points.


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But Poole made those averages look laughable as they won 12 of the 15 heads, with the Witches slow from the start and seemingly lacking the power to hold on to leads on the few occasions that they did get them.

Kim Jansson's tactical six-point ride win in heat eight and Robert Miskowiak's heat-13 victory over world-champion Jason Crump, were the only highlights but quite frankly, that is clutching at straws and after the euphoria of seeing off Oxford in the cup last week, every Witch will need to have a long good look at themselves if they wish to keep the fans ticking through the turnstiles.

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Ipswich guest David Norris had to pass Troy Batchelor coming out of turn four on lap two to stop the Pirates kicking off with a maximum.

And Chris Schramm, who was making his debut for the Witches, rode a brave reserves race, passing Piotr Swist on the outside going down the home straight to record victory and earn good applause from the Foxhall fans.

But just as last week against Oxford, the Witches started sluggishly from the tapes and skipper Chris Louis paid for his poor start as Edward Kennett and Bjarne Pedersen shot to the front for a comfortable victory. Swist won the next as Robert Miskowiak just held off Craig Boyce on the line and Crump won his second heat easily in the next.

Jansson appeared to have the sixth sewn up but Boyce used all his track craft, roaring off the fourth bend to fly past the startled Swede as the Pirates kept the screw turning.

Kennett and Pedersen were streets ahead in the next and before the meeting was halfway through, the Witches had to use their one allowed tactical ride.

Jansson was the man chosen to go for double points in heat eight and he duly obliged with the best start of the night as the Witches reduced the deficit to seven points at 22-29.

Ipswich were now back in the hunt but Poole soon put pay to any thoughts of a home comeback with Louis again slow from the start as the visitors recorded their third 5-1 maximum of the night.

Heat 10 summed it all up for the home side, with Norris and Jansson making the start, but first Pedersen kicked off Norris at the front and then Kennett passed Jansson as the fired-up visitors marched on their merry way.

Miskowiak passed Batchelor on the final bend in the next, and it was Miskowiak again who at last brought the home fans to their feet with a lightning start and victory over world champion Crump in heat 13.

The meeting was already over by that point, however, and even Miskowiak's fine win could not inspire anyone around him as the visitors finished with 5-1 maximums in the final two races, with Jansson almost taking Miskowiak out on the fourth turn in the last heat. As the joyous Pirates celebrated their lap of honour there was plenty of scratchng of heads in the Witches side of the pits.

n Mark Loram made a return to Foxhall Stadium last night for the first time since his awful crash just under a month ago.

Indeed, Loram's appearance brought the biggest cheer of the night as the Witches were embarrassed at home by Poole.

“I would like to thank everybody for all the good wishes - it is nice to feel so appreciated”, Loram said.

“I am having physio twice a week and its obviously going to be quite a time, but the body is a tremendous thing and I cant complain about the way I feel right now.”

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