POOLE 46: Jack Holder 11+1, Scott Nicholls (g) 11, Josh Grajczonek © 10+2, Richie Worrall 4+1, Nicolai Klindt 4+1, Nicolaj Busk Jakobsen 4, Nico Covatti 2. Team Manager: Neil Middleditch
IPSWICH 44: Richard Lawson 11+2, Chris Harris 9+2, Jake Allen 8+1, Krystian Pieszczek 7, David Bellego 5, Cameron Heeps 3, Danny King © 1. Team Manager: Ritchie Hawkins
REFEREE: P. Carrington
VENUE: Wimborne Road
SOUTHERN GROUP SUPPORTERS CUP TABLE…
The ‘Tru Plant’ Witches lost out in a last heat decider as they were beaten 46-44 by Poole Pirates at Wimborne Road on Thursday in the Premiership Supporters Cup.
The Suffolk side led for the majority of the match and looked set to record a three-point win or more to keep their Supporters Cup hopes alive after a strong showing away from home. However, the home side hung in the meeting and hit a 5-1 in the final race of the night to claim a vital win that keeps their chances alive and all but ends Ipswich’s run in the competition. Richard Lawson top scored for the Witches with 11+2.
The Witches got off to the perfect start in heat one as Lawson and Chris Harris raced to a 5-1. The good start continued in heat two as Jake Allen won ahead of Nicolaj Busk Jakobsen and Cameron Heeps picked up third for a 4-2 to the away side. Heat three was stopped as Ipswich captain Danny King hit the deck after a tight first turn with all four called back for the re-run. It was another Witches win in the re-run as Krystian Pieszczek took the chequered flag and the points were shared leaving Ipswich 12-6 ahead.
Poole got their first heat win in heat four as Nicolai Klindt won but David Bellego and Allen were both in the points for a 3-3. Poole guest Scott Nicholls and Harris had a great battle in heat five as they passed and re-passed each other and it looked like the Witches man had done enough for the win until his bike packed up on the final turn, handing the Pirates a 4-2. Jack Holder won heat six for the home side but Heeps managed to get past Richie Worrall to take second and split the pair, meaning a 4-2 to the hosts, that left the Witches 19-17 up.
Heat seven was stopped as King and Pieszczek fell whilst on a 5-1 with the captain getting out of shape and running into the Polish rider. Both riders walked away from the incident, but King was excluded from the re-run. The re-run was also stopped as Klindt and Pieszczek got caught up from the start with all three called back for the third attempt. The Polish Witch came up trumps when the heat did finally get going, winning and ensuring the Witches stayed in front. The visitors extended that lead in heat eight as Allen and Lawson recorded a maximum for the Witches. Josh Grajczonek won heat nine for the Pirates ahead of Bellego with Nicholls third for a Poole 4-2, as the Witches kept in front at 29-25.
The home side levelled the score in heat 10 as Pieszczek hit the front but then fell on the fourth turn. The Witches man cleared the track as Holder and Worrall raced to a 5-1 for the Pirates. The away side immediately restored their lead in heat 11 as Lawson and Harris hit another maximum for the Witches. It was level again though after heat 12 as Grajczonek won and as King fell on the final turn whilst in second it allowed Holder through for a 5-1 to make it 36-36 with three to race.
Klindt went through the tapes in heat 13 and was replaced by Busk Jakobsen in the re-run. The reserve replacement was then excluded himself as he lost control of the bike on the opening corner and fell. Harris won the re-run for the Witches ahead of Nicholls as the pair put on another great show of racing with the Ipswich number one going under the visiting guest to take the win. With Pieszczek in third it edged the away side ahead with two to race. Holder won from the gate in heat 14 ahead of Harris and Lawson to take it to a last heat decider. It was heartbreak for the Witches in heat 15 as Nicholls and Grajczonek hit a 5-1 in the final race of the night to give them a 46-44 win, the first time the home side led all evening but at the most crucial point.
Lawson carried on his fantastic form from Monday with a score of 11+2 from five rides. It was Lawson’s best performance on the road so far this season and the 33-year-old will be hoping his fortunes have changed away from home now.
It all came down to the final heat of the night. The Witches put in an impressive performance all night, leading for most of the meeting but sadly they lost out when it mattered most in heat 15 as the home duo raced to a 5-1.
WHAT IT MEANS…
Poole take three points for their win, they remain bottom of the group but still have hopes of qualification to the final, with meetings in hand. Ipswich take one point from this narrow defeat but are all but out of the cup with one meeting to race.
The ‘Tru Plant’ Witches face Peterborough Panthers at the East of England Arena & Events Centre on Monday 13th May in a Premiership fixture.