By Henry Chard
SWINDON 62: Jason Doyle ©13+2 (Paid maximum), Tobiasz Musielak 12+3 (Paid maximum), Rasmus Jensen 11+1 (Paid maximum), Troy Batchelor 9, Adam Ellis 8+1, Claus Vissing 5, Ellis Perks 4. Team Manager: Alun Rossiter
IPSWICH 27: Jake Allen 11, Chris Harris 6, Niels-Kristian Iversen 5, Danny King © 3+1, Cameron Heeps 1, James Sarjeant 1, Richard Lawson 0. Team Manager: Ritchie Hawkins
REFEREE: C. Turnbull
VENUE: Abbey Stadium
FINAL PREMIERSHIP TABLE
PREMIERSHIP PLAY-OFF FIXTURES
Poole 50-40 Ipswich (1st Leg), Ipswich 54-36 Poole (2nd Leg)
Wolverhampton 39-49 Swindon (1st Leg), Swindon 58-32 Wolverhampton (2nd Leg)
Ipswich 41-49 Swindon (1st Leg), Swindon 62-27 Ipswich (2nd Leg)
The ‘Tru Plant’ Witches were comprehensively beaten 62-27 at the Abbey Stadium on Thursday night as the Swindon Robins won the Premiership title.
Ipswich had a mountain to climb having lost the first leg of the Premiership Play-Off final by eight points at Foxhall on Tuesday and they never threatened to pull those points back as the home side ran riot. The hosts recorded 12 heat advantages and the contest was all over after 10 heats to the delight of the home fans. Jake Allen top scored for the Witches with 11 points.
The evening did not get off to a good start for the visitors as number one Niels-Kristian jumped the start and suffered a tapes exclusion in heat one. Allen replaced the Dane and led early on, but Jason Doyle dived under the Ipswich reserve on the fourth turn of the opening lap and went on and won a shared race despite seemingly riding with both wheels over the white line at one point. Allen won heat two and it looked like being another 3-3 but Ellis Perks suffered an engine failure whilst in third, promoting James Sarjeant to third which gave the Witches a 4-2. Heat three was called back after Tobiasz Musielak jumped the start but he made the gate in the re-run with Chris Harris pushing him hard in second. Harris was trying all he could to get past the home rider but went too wide and allowed Rasmus Jensen through for a Robins 5-1 that put them 10-8 up on the night and 59-49 ahead on aggregate.
Allen replaced Sarjeant in heat four as Troy Batchelor worked hard on the opening lap to get the better of him for the win, but the Witches man did enough to keep Claus Vissing behind him although a 4-2 to the home team extended their lead. Jensen moved at the start of heat five but got away with it and he was followed home by Musielak for a 5-1 with the tie quickly running away from the Witches. Allen was the early leader in heat six but both Doyle and Adam Ellis used their home track knowledge to pass him for another Swindon maximum that put them 24-12 up and 73-53 ahead on aggregate.
Batchelor won heat seven as Harris split the Robins pair with Perks third for a Swindon heat advantage. Ellis won heat eight ahead of Danny King and it was another 4-2 to the home team as Vissing claimed a point. Jensen and Musielak combined for another 5-1 in heat nine to put them 37-17 up and on the brink of winning the title, with an 86-58 aggregate lead.
The Robins confirmed their victory in heat 10 as Doyle and Ellis raced to a 5-1, and with five races to spare they knew they would be lifting the Premiership trophy at the end of the night in front of their home fans. Heat 11 was stopped as Batchelor locked up on the first turn forcing King to lay the bike down and the Robins man was excluded from the heat. However, in the re-run King also fell whilst in third and was excluded. Iversen won the third attempt of the race ahead of Perks, meaning a 3-2 to the away side. Musielak got the better of Allen to win heat 12 as the Witches man kept Vissing behind him to limit the hosts to a 4-2 that made the score 48-23 on the night and 97-64 on aggregate.
Batchelor and Doyle cruised to a 5-1 in heat 13 to pile on the misery for the Witches. Sarjeant jumped the start in heat 14 and was warned as Jensen beat Harris in the re-run with Perks third for a Robins heat advantage. The night finished with another 5-1 to Swindon in heat 15 as Doyle and Musielak completed their paid maximums to make the final score 62-27 in the second leg, giving them a resounding 111-68 victory on aggregate as they were crowned Premiership champions.
RIDER OF THE NIGHT…
Allen was the only Witch to provide any real resistance to the Swindon onslaught, scoring 11 from reserve.
The home side were dominant all night with the Witches unable to land a blow and the title was sealed in heat 10 as captain Doyle and partner Ellis raced to a comfortable 5-1.
WHAT IT MEANS…
Swindon are the 2019 Premiership champions; their second trophy of the season having lifted the Premiership Supporters Cup already this year. The Robins were too good for everyone this campaign. For the Witches, they end the season as runners-up in their first season back in the top flight.
The ‘Tru Plant’ Witches have now finished the 2019 season. Thank you for your support throughout the season. Have a great winter and we will see you at Foxhall in 2020.