Witches stun Wolves with KO Cup win
Wolverhampton 37 Ipswich 53CLASSED no-hopers before the start of the season, Ipswich Evening Star Witches stunned the speedway world with this incredible victory.
Wolverhampton 37 Ipswich 53
CLASSED no-hopers before the start of the season, Ipswich Evening Star Witches stunned the speedway world with this incredible victory.
The Suffolk side maintained their 100 per cent start to the competitive season and savaged Wolves so badly that Thursday's home leg is virtually academic.
It should still be well worth watching, however, as this Witches side is providing excellent entertainment, and it should be a thrill to see them roar into the quarter-final where they will meet Arena-Essex.
Wolverhampton are still waiting for their first win of the season and their fans were left in shock as Ipswich produced 11 of the 15 heat winners.
The visitors finished with three consecutive 5-1s on a night when outclassed Wolves collected only three heat advantages.
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The Ipswich heroes were the Polish pair Robert Miskowiak and Piotr Protasiewicz, but Hans Andersen was just a whisker behind and Chris Louis did his job.
Miskowiak finished second in his first ever race on the tricky little Monmore Green track, but was not beaten by a home rider after that - an amazing feat by the world Under-21 champion.
He oozed class and took full advantage of Wolves' lack of confidence at the starts that saw the top three Ipswich riders reach the first bend ahead virtually every time they rode.
On this evidence Miskowiak is going to be a trump card for the Witches. His dropping from his Polish side Wroclaw last Sunday for a meeting that was subsequently called off because of the Pope's death, shows how tough life can be in his home country.
Scott Nicholls is not being missed one bit with Protasiewicz proving a superb number one - and he scored his first Ipswich maximum.
Protasiewicz gated superbly all night, and when Mikael Max went passed him in heat six, the 30-year-old Pole showed his determination and ability by re-taking the home number one on the next bend.
Andersen, who this season smiles as much as the ever-cheerful Protasiewicz, dropped just one point.
On any other night he would have been the focus of attention, but he will not mind being outshone by a couple of Poles who have set Ipswich fans buzzing with anticipation.
The Dane beat Max three times to gain some revenge for his run-off defeat in the dramatic league play-off semi-final last autumn.
Louis won two races and did well, with Ronnie Correy upsetting the Witches skipper when he shut off in front of him on the third lap of heat ten as the visiting rider was threatening to pass.
Karol Baron gated well in heat one but as usual for newcomers to this tight track he was drawn almost into the second bend fence and he failed to score in his other two rides as well.
Protasiewicz was the first rider from gate four not to be beaten by an opponent when he followed home Andersen in heat 13 - both riders punching the air as they celebrated on their victory lap.
Andersen won from the outside in heat 15, as a demoralised home team had no answer to the power, skill and authority of the Ipswich top four on a wonderful night for the Witches.
If the Ipswich football team performs as well next Monday at Molyneux then the Tractor Boys' promotion hopes will receive a huge lift.