5 things we learned about Ipswich Witches last night

Paul Starke crashes out of heat 8.

Paul Starke crashes out of heat 8. - Credit: Steve Waller -www.stephenwaller.com

Ipswich Witches were well beaten at Foxhall Stadium last night - Peterborough Panthers running out 41-49 winners.

So, what did we learn about the Witches on what was a fourth successive Premiership defeat?

Team manager Ritchie Hawkins holds a team talk ahead of the clash against the Panthers.

Team boss Ritchie Hawkins rallies his troops. He will be pleased to have Jason Crump back - Credit: Steve Waller -www.stephenwaller.com


There is little doubt the Witches have badly missed Jason Crump.

The three-time world champion was injured at Wolverhampton almost two weeks ago. Since then the Witches haven't won a meeting.

His influence, on and off the track, is badly missing and Ritchie Hawkins, the Witches team boss, will be so pleased to have him back.

New signing Craig Cook pictured ahead of the Panthers clash

New signing Craig Cook pictured ahead of the Panthers clash - Credit: Steve Waller -www.stephenwaller.com


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Amid the disappointment of defeat to the Panthers, there was one ray of light, and that was the performance of new-boy Craig Cook.

Cook has joined the Witches after being released by King's Lynn and he showed a terrific turn of speed, as well as some determined racing as he top-scored.

It couldn't have been much better a debut - aside from the Witches winning as well.

Danny King and Jake Allen lead Chris Harris in heat 9.

Danny King and Jake Allen lead Chris Harris in heat 9. - Credit: Steve Waller -www.stephenwaller.com


Ipswich Witches owner, Chris Louis, feels his side still have much to race for this season.

"Fair play to Peterborough, I'll take nothing away from them. When they click, all of them, they will be tough to beat and battle with anyone," he said.

"We aren't currently good enough to be six men. We will be working hard to have Jason Crump back in time for Peterborough away, and I think when we do, we have a chance of winning there.

"Craig Cook has had a whole 18 months off the bike, like all of them. And he's finding his way back. But tonight, I think he just looked the Craig Cook that wins races."

Drew Kemp and Danny King pictured ahead of heat 12.

Drew Kemp and Danny King pictured ahead of heat 12. - Credit: Steve Waller -www.stephenwaller.com


Peterborough currently have no less than four former Grand Prix stars in their side - Bjarne Pedersen, Hans Andersen, Scott Nicholls and Chris Harris.

The Witches have just one, Craig Cook, and two young reserves, Anders Rowe (19) and Drew Kemp (18), whose ages combined don't add up to any of the ages of Peterborough's experienced former GP men!

But experience in speedway is no different to that in life. It can be very, very useful and the Panthers 'old guard' proved how good experience can be.

The likes of Rowe and Kemp will have learnt much from their night as they continue their speedway education.

Action from the opening heat.

Action from the opening heat. - Credit: Steve Waller -www.stephenwaller.com


The Witches are not at home again until June 28 and have no meeting at all next week. The rest and time to regroup will do them good.

The next time they take to the track is June 21 in the return at Peterborough.

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