Mike says: Five things we learned from the Witches heavy KO Cup defeat to Lakeside at Foxhall

Former Witch Kyle Newman ahead of Rory Schlein and Danyon Hume in heat seven. Picture: Steve Wall

Former Witch Kyle Newman ahead of Rory Schlein and Danyon Hume in heat seven. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Mike Bacon takes a look at the Witches third home loss of the season

Michael Hartel (left) and team-mate Danny King tumble with their machinery after crashing in the fir

Michael Hartel (left) and team-mate Danny King tumble with their machinery after crashing in the first heat of the KO Cup meeting against Lakeside . King was taken from the track by ambulance with a suspected left arm injury Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

What luck?

The only luck the Witches appear to have had in the past two seasons is bad luck.

While injuries are part and parcel of all sport, especially speedway, there is no doubt the Witches have endured their fair share in recent seasons.

Danny King was the only Witch to go through the entire 2017 with no injuries.... Until the final meeting of the season, the KO Cup final.


You may also want to watch:


Now, he is facing a time on the sidelines with a fractured or even broken arm after crashing out in heat one early in 2018.

Gating skills

Most Read

While the stuffing was certainly knocked out of the Witches after King’s crash, it was in fact while King and Michael Haertel were chasing the Hammers pair of Nick Morris and Ben Morley that the crash happened.

Only Rory Schlein seems to be a consistent gater for the home side, aside from King.

And while it’s great to watch riders race, especially coming from the back, that’s when the sport can be more dangerous.

The Witches need to get their gating boots sorted.

Cam shines

Cameron Heeps is enduring a tough start to the season.

But there are signs he is getting his mojo back. I mentioned this last week that once he is out there he is very difficult to pass.

However, Heeps needs to be more consistent from the tapes. That way he’ll score lots more points.

But the signs are good.

Season hopes?

Well, that’s the Shield and KO Cup gone and now the Witches are only left with the League to challenge for.

Thankfully they have at least won their only meeting in the Championship, but two tricky away clashes at Newcastle and Berwick are on the horizon.

Oh, how they would fancy their chances with Nico Covatti (still out with rib injuries) and King in the team.

Any points they can get on their travels will be well received and give the team a bit of breathing space.

A tough Championship

If you wanted to understand how tough the Championship is then Lakeside’s win at Ipswich and another result – Peterborough’s draw at Sheffield on Thursday night – shows exactly that.

It really is an unrelenting league, just like its namesake in football.

The Witches have time to turn their season around thankfully, but just like Lakeside showed no mercy at Foxhall on Thursday night to the beleaguered Witches, neither will any other team.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter