Rivals rage after Witches win

IPSWICH Witches officials were today warned: “You can't have it both ways.”

IPSWICH Witches officials were today warned: “You can't have it both ways.”

The call came from Poole Pirates co-promoter Matt Ford, who accused the Witches of bending the rules in their 50-40 Elite League victory at Foxhall Stadium last night.

Ford said that he had it on good authority that Ipswich star Piotr Protasiewicz is not injured, and that the Witches should not have been given a facility to use rider replacement to cover for him.

This accrued eight points - and proved vital to the result.

“Ipswich have made noises about other teams not playing by the rules,” said Ford. “But they must look at themselves. They can't have it both ways.

“I am saying that in my opinion Ipswich should have used a junior as I am told Pepe rode in heat 15 for his Polish club Bydgoszcz on Sunday showing no sign of injury.

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“Members of his family have food poisoning, but as this is not a speedway-related reason for absence Ipswich should not have had a facility.”

But Ford, whose brother John is the ticket manager at Portman Road, said he is not going to pursue the matter.

And he had some possible good news for Ipswich confirming that their defeat at Arena-Essex on Good Friday could be overturned.

Ford is on the British Speedway Promoters' Association management committee.

He said: “We have a meeting today and the Paul Hurry case is on the agenda.

“If I had been asked I would have given a definite no to Arena using Paul in the evening meeting after he was unfit in the afternoon.

“We categorically turned down a similar scenario when Eastbourne requested to use Dean Barker in one of the two meetings in one day against Poole.

“The decision today could alter the result of the Ipswich meeting at Arena.”

Ipswich lost 49-41 with Hurry being paid for ten points.

“Something has got to be done as there are far too many dodgy injuries and illnesses doing the rounds at the moment.

“Medical certificates appear too easy to come by,” added Ford.

“I shall be doing all I can to get firm rules put in place to stop it happening in the future. In the meanwhile Ipswich cannot have it both ways.”

Chris van Straaten, Neil Machin and Pete Toogood are the three main members of the management committee with Ford, and Isle of Wight's Dave Pavitt back-up members.

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