SWINDON 51: Jason Doyle © 12, Dawid Lampart 10+3, Troy Batchelor 10+1, Tobiasz Musielak 8+2, Adam Ellis 8+2, Zach Wajtknecht 2, James Shanes 1. Team Manager: Alun Rossiter
IPSWICH 39: Chris Harris 12+1, Krystian Pieszczek 7+1, Jake Allen 7+1, Cameron Heeps 7, Danny King © 4, Richard Lawson 2, David Bellego 0. Team Manager: Ritchie Hawkins
REFEREE: R. Allan
SOUTHERN GROUP SUPPORTERS CUP TABLE…
The ‘Tru Plant’ Witches were beaten 51-39 by the Swindon Robins on Monday evening at the Abbey Stadium in the Premiership Supporters Cup.
The visitors were never too far behind throughout the meeting and kept themselves in with a chance of taking a point from the match, but the home side proved too strong in the end took three points to strengthen their position at the top of the group and deny the Witches any points on the road. Chris Harris top scored for the Witches on his return from injury with 12+1.
The night started badly for the Witches as Jason Doyle and Dawid Lampart raced to a 5-1 in heat one with Doyle breaking the track record for the new Abbey track. The away side wasted no time in hitting back though and recorded their own 5-1 in heat two thanks to Cameron Heeps and Jake Allen. Heat three had to be re-run as Krystian Pieszczek went through the tapes and was excluded with Heeps coming in as his replacement. The re-run went the way of the Robins as Tobias Musielak and Adam Ellis reeled off the third 5-1 of the night to leave the home side 11-7 up.
Troy Batchelor won heat four, but Allen managed to split the Robins pair as he rounded Zach Wajtknecht at the end of the first lap, meaning a 4-2 to the hosts. Ipswich number one Harris took the win in heat five, but David Bellego finished at the back, meaning a shared heat. Heeps claimed a fantastic win in heat six as he held off 2017 world champion Doyle. Doyle had made his way through traffic and set his sights on the Witches reserve but Heeps held firm to keep the Robins captain behind him and secure a 3-3 that left the hosts 21-15 ahead.
Batchelor won heat seven but Richard Lawson and Pieszczek ensured it was a shared heat. Lampart won heat eight ahead of Allen and with Bellego retiring at the back it meant a heat advantage to the Robins. Heat nine was stopped as Musielak went through the tapes this time and he went from 15 metres in the re-run. Danny King got his first win of the night in the re-run but Heeps was passed by both home riders for a 3-3 that left Swindon 31-23 up.
Heat 10 was also stopped as Lampart was warned for moving at the start but that didn’t affect him as he came out and won the re-run ahead of Pieszczek and Doyle passed Lawson for third for a Robins 4-2. Allen replaced Bellego in heat 11 but it was the home duo of Batchelor and James Shanes that made the gate. The Witches pair of Harris and Allen quickly went by Shanes and Harris produced a great move to pass Batchelor on the second lap and take the win to give the away side a 4-2. It was looking good early on for the Witches in heat 12 as King and Lawson led but Doyle swooped past both riders at the end of the second lap to win and Ellis passed King for second to give them a 5-1 that put them on the brink of victory and 42-30 up.
However, the Witches kept themselves alive with a 5-1 in heat 13 thanks to Pieszczek and Harris. The fans voted in Heeps and Harris to represent the Witches in heat 14 with Lampart and Musielak coming out for Swindon. Harris duly won for the Witches but Heeps couldn’t get amongst the points meaning a 3-3 that confirmed the win for the home side. The hosts ensured the away side went home empty-handed as they recorded a 5-1 in heat 15 thanks to Doyle and Batchelor to make the final score 51-39 to the Robins.
Just under a week ago, Harris underwent surgery on his scaphoid, but he returned to action in fantastic style scoring 12+1 for the Witches, keeping the Witches competitive at the top end of the team.
Going into heat 12 the Witches were just eight points behind and in with a chance of taking something from the meeting. King and Lawson started heat 12 well and looked good for a 5-1 or a 4-2 but the home duo of Doyle and Ellis turned the heat on its head and scored a 5-1 for the Robins that all but won the meeting for the home team.
WHAT IT MEANS…
The Robins collect three points and the Witches take nothing from this meeting. That puts the Robins five points clear at the top of the table and in a strong position to progress. The Witches must beat Swindon on Thursday at Foxhall and are likely to need some points on the road in their away meeting against Poole in the group.
The ‘Tru Plant’ Witches host the Swindon Robins at Foxhall on Thursday 25th April in a Premiership Supporters Cup fixture.
AROUND THE TRACKS…
King’s Lynn drew 45-45 away at Peterborough in the Premiership.
Belle Vue secured their place in the Premiership Supporters Cup final with a 54-36 win over Wolves on Monday afternoon at the National Speedway Stadium. The pair met again later that day at Monmore Green with Wolves running out 52-38 winners.