Witches team effort rocks the Robins

LEIGH Adams raced to his second maximum in a week against Ipswich Evening Star Witches, but it was the Suffolk side who grabbed the two Elite League points in a fierce encounter at Foxhall Stadium last night.

By Mike Bacon

LEIGH Adams raced to his second maximum in a week against Ipswich Evening Star Witches, but it was the Suffolk side who grabbed the two Elite League points in a fierce encounter at Foxhall Stadium last night.

Quite which side will pick more positives than negatives out of this one is open to conjecture, but certainly the Witches will be pleased to have produced a real team performance against a top-heavy Swindon outfit.

The visitors picked up the bonus point, mainly because they produced ten of the 15 heat winners, Adams and Sebastian Ulamek winning eight of them between them.

They were clearly the two best riders on show, but Ipswich showed their mettle when they had to and in Danny King found the hero of the night.

He linked up for maximum points with Kim Jansson in heat eight and Piotr Protasiewicz in heat 12, both at crucial stages in the meeting. It gave the Witches two much-needed boosts at a time when the Robins still had an eye on collecting all the spoils.

Most Read

King's efforts this season are set to be crucial to a side that clearly has enough power in the top five to mount a challenge and he was rightly voted Witches' rider of the night.

Swindon started like a train and won six of the first seven heats. They led by two, but King and Jansson's maximum in heat eight put the Witches two ahead. It was a lead they were never to lose and at one stage, when ten points ahead, they even threatened to nick the bonus point.

However, Swindon always had Adams in reserve for a tactical ride and when he won heat 13 and picked up six points, that was the bonus point on its way back to Wiltshire.

Ipswich wrapped it up in the penultimate race and a last heat 5-1 maximum to Swindon only gave the scoreline a closer look.

Lee Richardson led from start to finish in heat one, despite all of Louis' efforts, while Seb Alden made it another Robins' heat win with a good swoop round the

outside in the reserves race.

Elbows were flying between Robert Miskowiak and Ulamek as the pair went down the back straight in the next, but it was once again the Swindon man who came out on top as the fired-up Robins made a solid start.

Adams beat Mark Loram in heat four as King chased Alden all the way, but it was the visitors who opened-up a two-point lead.

The home fans had a home winner to celebrate in heat five as Protasiewicz gated to the front to beat Richardson, but with Miskowiak producing a disappointing ride at the back, the Witches remained behind.

It was another impressive ride by Adams in the next, as the Ipswich heat leaders had little answer to their Swindon counterparts. The Robins led by two points and it stayed that way in heat seven, despite all of Loram's efforts to pass the fast-starting Ulamek.

At the back Jaros passed Gafurov on the fourth turn in what was the sixth drawn heat of the night. The Foxhall fans came to life in heat eight, with King and Jansson gating to the front for a much-needed 5-1 to the home side and despite producing only two race winners up to then, it was the Witches who led 25-23.

Ipswich's lead was fragile, but skipper Louis rode a terrific race in heat ten, bravely rounding Ulamek on the fourth turn and keeping his nerve to power past him on the outside as the two riders crossed the start/finish line.

The Witches were suddenly four ahead and Loram produced his best race of the night, seeing off Richardson, but just as importantly, Jaros rode a battling ride at the back to hold off Mads Korneliussen.

It was 36-30 to Ipswich and heat 12 was brought back with all four riders after King hit the deck. He was clearly put there by Russian Renat Gafurov, but referee Frank Ebdon did not see it that way, as all four went back in the re-run.

Justice was done, as Protasiewicz and King gated to the front and the Witches were now ten points ahead with a real sniff of the bonus point.

However, Adams came out in heat 13 for a tactical ride and although Louis made the start on the inside, Adams got round him to take the six points.

Loram passed Richardson on turn four to make sure Swindon did not get a 7-2, but the resultant 6-3 to the visitors closed the deficit to seven points.

The home side just needed a share of the spoils in the penultimate race and although Ulamek raced away for his third victory of the night, King and Miskowiak filled the minor positions and victory was assured. Swindon finished with a 5-1 maximum, as Adams completed a brilliant 18-point haul, but it was the Witches who had the strength in depth and consequently the victory points.

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