Witches thrashed in final home clash: Ipswich 37 Peterborough 53
- Credit: Steve Waller -www.stephenwaller.com
Ipswich Witches ended their 2021 home season on a disappointing note with another Foxhall defeat.
This time it was Peterborough Panthers who, for the second time this season in Suffolk, proved too strong for an Ipswich side devoid of confidence.
Only skipper Danny King and to a lesser extent Jason Crump and Craig Cook got among the scorers, but it was never going to be enough against a solid Panthers side.
It all meant the Witches lost six of their 10 home league meetings this season, which was never going to be good enough to make the play-offs and now the Foxhall fans have a long winter ahead before the start of 2022.
Witches owner Chris Louis admitted: "We took a gamble with Jason Crump and I thought it was going to pay off. He was just finding his feet, then he had his injury. That was a huge blow.
"I'm disappointed for the fans but they've kept the club on a good footing. We'll come back stronger next year. We need to be better next year."
The Panthers included three guests in their side, Thomas Jorgensen, Erik Riss and Leon Flint, while the Witches used rider replacement for Jake Allen.
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King streaked from gate three to win the opener in a shared first race in a quick time of 56.4. Drew Kemp and Hans Andersen hit the deck on the second bend with the decision that all four riders were back for the re-run.
The re-run was a corker with first Kemp and then Anders Rowe passing Leon Flint who, along with Hans Andersen had gated to the front. It was super speedway.
And heat three was also good, as Crump gated, while Paul Starke went inside and out before he could line-up Michael Palm-Toft to pass him.
The Witches were two up, but the Panthers changed that deficit round in their favour as Andersen won again and Chris Harris passed the fast-starting Kemp. Jorgensen flew round the outside to pass Crump in the next as the Panthers stretched their lead.
King won the next as Starke packed up and re-started after 30 yards and the Panthers turned the screw with two maximums in heats seven and eight.
Crump was in as a tactical rider in heat nine but after a tapes malfunction that caught him on the outside, he and King couldn't catch the fast-starting Harris.
Peterborough were up by 12 and looking set for victory.
King was fighting a bit of a lone battle as he won heat ten, but then Cook produced a super first and second turn to win the next as the Witches began to show bite.
But when Palm-Toft and Andersen passed Crump in heat 12, that was it for the Witches, as Peterborough celebrated victory.
Ipswich: Danny King (3,3,2,3,2*,3)= 16+1; Paul Starke (0,1,0,1,0)= 2; Jason Crump (3,2,1*,1,1)= 8+1; R/R for Jake Allen; Craig Cook (0,0,3,3,)= 6; Anders Rowe (1*,0,1,0,0)= 2+1; Drew Kemp (2,1,0,0)= 3
Peterborough: Thomas Jorgensen (1*,3,ex/t,0)= 4+1; Erik Riss (2,1,3,1*)= 7+1; Michael Palm-Toft (0,2*,2,3)= 7+1; Scott Nicholls (2,3,1*,2*)= 10+2; Chris Harris (2*,2,3,1)= 9+2; Leon Flint (0,1*0,)= 1+1; Hans Andersen (3,3,2*,2,2*,3)= 15+2.