Author Archives: Henry Chard

About Henry Chard

Digital Media Manager at Ipswich Speedway

PETERBOROUGH 55-35 IPSWICH: RACEDAY REPORT

By Henry Chard

THE SCORES

PETERBOROUGH 55: Bjarne Pedersen 11+1, Michael Palm Toft 14+2, Scott Nicholls © 10+3, Chris Harris 5+1, Jack Thomas (g) (RS) 8, Hans Andersen 7+2. Team Manager: Rob Lyon

IPSWICH 35: Danny King © 12, Paul Starke 2+2, Jason Crump 1, Jake Allen 1, Craig Cook 10+2, Anders Rowe 4, Drew Kemp (RS) 5. Team Manager: Ritchie Hawkins

REFEREE: M. Bates

PREMIERSHIP TABLE

TeamMeetingsPoints
Wolverhampton1952
Peterborough1643
Belle Vue1934
Sheffield1628
Ipswich2018
King’s Lynn1610

WHAT HAPPENED?

The ‘Tru Plant’ Witches ended their disappointing season with another heavy defeat away at Peterborough on Monday night in the Premiership.

With the play-offs out of reach, there was nothing to race for but pride for Ipswich, but they were comprehensively beaten by the Panthers as a torrid campaign was brought to a close. Once again it was captain Danny King who top scored with 12.

Bjarne Pedersen won heat one but with both Witches amongst the points it was a shared heat to start proceedings. Anders Rowe won heat two and Drew Kemp picked up a point to edge the away side ahead early on. The lead didn’t last long though as the Panthers recorded a 5-1 in heat three before a 3-3 in heat four.

The home side extended their lead in heat five with a maximum and another followed in heat six to put the Panthers 10 points up. The onslaught continued in heat seven as Peterborough banged in another 5-1 and there was more pain to come in heat eight as the home duo of Pedersen and Hans Andersen raced home for a fourth consecutive maximum to put the hosts in total control of the fixture.

Craig Cook stopped the rot with a win in heat nine but with Rowe at the back it was a 3-3. Captain King came in as a tactical substitute in heat 10 with reserve Kemp replacing Jason Crump and the skipper delivered by taking the chequered flag but with Kemp in fourth the points were shared. The run of shared heats continued as Chris Harris won heat 11 ahead of the Witches duo but the Panthers flexed their muscles again and hit a 5-1 in heat 12 which confirmed their victory with three races to spare.

King and Cook gave the visiting supporters something to cheer about in heat 13 as they teamed up for a first 1-5 of the night to the Witches. However, the joy was short-lived as Peterborough hit back with another maximum of their own in heat 14. Cook won the final race of the night with King third for a heat advantage to the Witches but it was little consolation to the away fans who had seen their side suffer a 20-point defeat on the road which signalled the end of a season to forget for the club.

HAWKINS REACTION

Ipswich ‘Tru Plant’ Witches team manager Ritchie Hawkins reflects on defeat in Peterborough.

“We weren’t good enough and it was the same old story. We came here and everyone was looking forward to racing and finishing on a bit of a high point after a disappointing season. In reality we were not good enough again against a very good team despite some strong efforts from a few of the boys. We are not good enough.

“I think it is purely down to confidence with a few of the boys. Danny’s confidence is high, and his performance level is high too. Others are low in confidence and are finding it really hard. When your confidence is down and the team is struggling as well, it really does not help.

“It has been a really tough year and I am glad it is over. It gives the club an opportunity to rebuild in the off-season. We have been really well backed by our supporters and everyone who works at the club but on track we had too many obstacles to get over and we have not been able to give them the results they deserve.

“We certainly do not want to go through the year we have had again next year. Hopefully throughout the winter we can do some rebuilding that excites everyone, gets everyone keen again so that we can turn it around next year and do very well again. Things can change very quickly in speedway and there is no reason why we can’t come back stronger and challenge for honours.”

RIDER OF THE NIGHT

Whilst Cook enjoyed a decent night it seems only right to give it to captain King who top scored with 12 from six rides and it is the skipper who has been the star man all season for the Witches.

WHAT IT MEANS

Peterborough pick up another three points and confirm at least a second-placed finish but they still harbour hopes of catching league leaders Wolverhampton. Defeat for Ipswich sees them stay fifth and they will have to wait and see if they can avoid finishing bottom with King’s Lynn eight points behind with four fixtures to complete.

WHAT’S NEXT?

The ‘Tru Plant’ Witches have now finished their 2021 season, we look forward to seeing you at Foxhall in 2022.

PETERBOROUGH V IPSWICH: RACEDAY PREVIEW

By Henry Chard

All the details ahead of our Premiership fixture with Peterborough.

WHEN & WHERE

The ‘Tru Plant’ Witches travel to Peterborough to face the Panthers at the East of England Arena & Events Centre on Monday 6th September in a Premiership fixture that starts at 7.30pm.

TEAMS

PETERBOROUGH: 1. R/R for Ulrich Ostergaard 7.09 2. Bjarne Pedersen 6.41 3. Michael Palm Toft 6.83 4. Scott Nicholls 6.37 © 5. Chris Harris 6.37 6. Jack Thomas (g) (RS) 7. Hans Andersen 6.20. Team Manager: Rob Lyon

IPSWICH: 1. Danny King 7.46 © 2. Paul Starke 4.85 3. Jason Crump 5.54 4. Jake Allen 4.88 5. Craig Cook 7.23 6. Anders Rowe 4.84 7. Drew Kemp (RS). Team Manager: Ritchie Hawkins

REFEREE: M. Bates

PREMIERSHIP TABLE

TeamMeetingsPoints
Wolverhampton1849
Peterborough1540
Belle Vue1831
Sheffield1528
Ipswich1918
King’s Lynn1510

TICKETS

Tickets can be purchased online here. Details on covid regulations at the stadium can be found here.

THE STORY

The Witches end their season on Monday night when they face Peterborough at the East of England Arena & Events Centre. Ipswich have endured a highly disappointing campaign and have nothing to race for but pride with the play-offs out of reach. The Suffolk side have lost five meetings on the bounce going into this fixture and were heavily beaten by the Panthers in their last outing at Foxhall. They will take heart from their trip to Peterborough earlier this season where they picked up a consolation point after a 43-47 defeat.

The away side will be at full strength as they welcome back Jake Allen to the team after he missed last week’s encounter due to feeling the effects of his Covid-19 jab. Danny King will be looking to finish his excellent season on a high with the Witches. The skipper’s form in 2021 has seen him move to the number one spot and he has been a bright spot in a difficult season for the club. Monday provides a chance to finish the campaign on a high note and send the travelling support home with something to cheer about going into the off-season.

HAWKINS PREVIEW

Ipswich ‘Tru Plant’ Witches team manager Ritchie Hawkins gives his pre-match thoughts…

“We will look forward to going to Peterborough, a great racetrack and everyone will enjoy racing there. We have got one more chance to perform and one last opportunity to show what we are capable of.

“I guess there is less pressure on us. In general, away from home our form has been better than our home form. The chance is there to enjoy ourselves on a great racetrack and hopefully the boys will be looking forward to it.”

THE OPPOSITION

Peterborough are flying in 2021 and have top spot in their sights having already confirmed their place in the play-offs. Written off by many at the start of the season for their experienced line-up, the Panthers have proved many wrong and are closing in on league leaders Wolverhampton after their thumping win at Foxhall last week. The hosts have been beaten twice on home shale this season with both defeats coming against the Belle Vue Aces.

Strength in depth has been key to their success this season and that was evident last Thursday as former Grand Prix rider Hans Andersen racked up 15+2 from reserve and he is likely to have some extra rides again on Monday. Peterborough are without Ulrich Ostergaard and Jordan Palin due to injury with rider replacement in operation at number one and Jack Thomas deputising in the ‘Rising Star’ position. Bjarne Pedersen returns to the side after his mandatory seven-day suspension after being absent due to illness.

AWAY DAYS

An adult ticket costs £20, concessions £18, children (under 16) £8 and children under the age of 5 go free. Official programmes cost £3 with car parking priced at £1. Facilities include a 2200 capacity grandstand, grass banking on the back straight, fast food outlets on the grandstand side of the track and a licensed bar. For travel information head here.

For more information about the club head to Peterborough’s official website.

IPSWICH 37–53 PETERBOROUGH: RACEDAY REPORT

By Henry Chard

MEETING SPONSORS

Scott Properties – Scott Properties is a family run, self-funded, and respected Strategic Land Promoter operating throughout East Anglia and the South East of England. Their principal activity is the identification, acquisition and promotion of land through the planning system. They work on a partnership basis with landowners and Local Authorities to realise maximum development potential from land assets.

PGM Carpentry – PGM Carpentry Contractors was founded in 2000 and has since grown to become a leading specialist in carpentry and window installation in London and the East of England. They are actively working on new-build residential developments for the majority of the UK’s largest developers and main contractors in the construction industry. PGM is proud of its family heritage, which has allowed the company to grow on strong foundations.

THE SCORES

IPSWICH 37: Danny King © 16+1, Paul Starke 2, Jason Crump 8+1, Craig Cook 6, Anders Rowe 2+1, Drew Kemp (RS) 3. Team Manager: Ritchie Hawkins

PETERBOROUGH 53: Thomas Jorgensen (g) 4+1, Erik Riss (g) 7+1, Michael Palm Toft 7+1, Scott Nicholls © 10+2, Chris Harris 9+2, Leon Flint (g) (RS) 1+1, Hans Andersen 15+2. Team Manager: Rob Lyon

REFEREE: P. Carrington

PREMIERSHIP TABLE

TeamMeetingsPoints
Wolverhampton1849
Peterborough1540
Belle Vue1831
Sheffield1528
Ipswich1918
King’s Lynn1510

WHAT HAPPENED?

The ‘Tru Plant’ Witches were heavily beaten by Peterborough at Foxhall on Thursday night in the Premiership as they ended their home season in miserable fashion.

Ipswich lost Jake Allen on the day of the fixture with the Australian still feeling the effects of his Covid-19 jab and rider replacement was in operation at number four. However, that was no excuse for what was to follow as the home team were no match for their high-flying opponents and the Panthers coasted to a comfortable victory. Skipper Danny King top scored once again with 16+1.

King won a shared heat one but there was an early stoppage in heat two as Drew Kemp and Hans Andersen hit the deck on the first turn with all four called back. The Dane picked himself up and won the re-run, but Kemp and Anders Rowe ensured it was a 3-3 as both passed Panthers guest Leon Flint to get amongst the points. The home team went ahead in heat three as Jason Crump picked up three points ahead of Scott Nicholls and Paul Starke won the battle at the back against Michael Palm Toft. However, the lead didn’t last long as the Panthers recorded a 1-5 in heat four to put them two points ahead.

The visitors extended their lead with a heat advantage in heat five before King made it two wins from two in heat six with Starke at the back having struggled with machinery issues at the start of the race. The Panthers hit a maximum in heat seven to put them eight points up and they pulled further clear with another 1-5 in heat eight to put them in full control of the tie.

Ritchie Hawkins put King in as a tactical substitute in heat nine and after a tapes malfunction at the first attempt, Chris Harris won the re-run to stop the Witches from pulling any points back. King was back out in heat 10 and took the chequered flag as the points were shared. Peterborough guest Thomas Jorgensen was excluded for going through the tapes in heat 11 and Andersen came in as a replacement for the re-run. Craig Cook won the second attempt in a 3-3 but Peterborough sealed their victory as early as heat 12 with another 1-5 that put them out of reach.

The home pair of Cook and King responded with a maximum for the home side in heat 13 but the Panthers came straight back with yet another 1-5 in heat 14. King’s excellent evening finished with a win in heat 15 as the race was shared but it signalled the end of another miserable night at Foxhall in 2021.

HAWKINS REACTION

Ipswich ‘Tru Plant’ Witches team manager Ritchie Hawkins reflects on Thursday’s defeat to Peterborough.

“It was another disappointing night where we did not perform and relied on two or three riders and that is never going to win you any meetings.

“On paper we are not a terrible team and not as bad as our results suggest. On paper we look like we could be a good side, but confidence is that low and it is just dropping and dropping. Roll on the winter where we can rebuild.

“Danny is flying, and I think Jason put in a good shift tonight. Starkey has been very good in recent weeks but suffered horrendous bike problems tonight. We were missing Jake and it made it another long night. We go to Peterborough on Monday and we all enjoy racing there. On the night if the boys pull out a performance and ride to their capabilities then we are capable of getting a win at the Showground. Overall though we are looking forward to the season finishing.

“I think we had another decent crowd considering we are on such a poor run. For everyone to still turn out is exceptional and we are sorry we are not performing how we should be. All we can do is work hard over the winter to be stronger for next year.”

SCOTT PROPERTIES & PGM CARPENTRY RIDERS OF THE NIGHT

It will come as no surprise that it was captain King who picked up both awards again after he scored 16+1 from six rides.

WHAT IT MEANS

Ipswich stay fifth and they have just one more fixture to complete before their season ends. The Panthers pick up four points as they close in on top spot ahead of the play-offs.

WHAT’S NEXT?

The ‘Tru Plant’ Witches travel to the East of England Arena & Events Centre to face the Peterborough Panthers on Monday 6th September in a Premiership fixture. Tickets can be purchased here.

IPSWICH V PETERBOROUGH: RACEDAY PREVIEW

By Henry Chard

All the details ahead of our Premiership fixture with Peterborough.

WHEN & WHERE

The ‘Tru Plant’ Witches host the Peterborough Panthers at Foxhall Stadium on Thursday 2nd September in a Premiership fixture that starts at 7.30pm.

MEETING SPONSORS

Scott Properties – Scott Properties is a family run, self-funded, and respected Strategic Land Promoter operating throughout East Anglia and the South East of England. Their principal activity is the identification, acquisition and promotion of land through the planning system. They work on a partnership basis with landowners and Local Authorities to realise maximum development potential from land assets.

PGM Carpentry – PGM Carpentry Contractors was founded in 2000 and has since grown to become a leading specialist in carpentry and window installation in London and the East of England. They are actively working on new-build residential developments for the majority of the UK’s largest developers and main contractors in the construction industry. PGM is proud of its family heritage, which has allowed the company to grow on strong foundations.

TEAMS

IPSWICH: 1. Danny King 7.46 © 2. Paul Starke 4.85 3. Jason Crump 5.54 4. R/R for Jake Allen 4.88 5. Craig Cook 7.23 6. Anders Rowe 4.84 7. Drew Kemp (RS). Team Manager: Ritchie Hawkins

PETERBOROUGH: 1. Thomas Jorgensen (g) 7.09 2. Erik Riss (g) 6.41 3. Michael Palm Toft 6.83 4. Scott Nicholls 6.37 © 5. Chris Harris 6.37 6. Leon Flint (g) (RS) 7. Hans Andersen 6.20. Team Manager: Rob Lyon

REFEREE: P. Carrington

PREMIERSHIP TABLE

TeamMeetingsPoints
Wolverhampton1849
Peterborough1436
Belle Vue1731
Sheffield1425
Ipswich1818
King’s Lynn1510

TICKETS

Tickets are available to buy online (until 7pm on raceday) and on the gate and are priced at £19 for adults, £17 for concessions (65+), £5 for students (16-17). Children 15 and under go free. Official programmes are priced at £3 and are available at the stadium. Car parking is free for all supporters. Debit and credit card payments are accepted. Turnstiles open at 6.40pm.

COVID-19 UPDATE & GUIDELINES

Following the government’s relaxation of Covid-19 restrictions, we can confirm that the pits will be open as usual for fans to get autographs and photos with the riders. Turnstiles open at 6.40pm and the home straight Grandstand will be open on a first come, first served basis with limited numbers. Alcohol will be served at our beverage outlets. Regular touch-point cleaning will continue at key areas including the turnstiles and toilets. We also ask that you maintain social a sensible social distance where possible and recommend wearing a mask in crowded areas if you feel comfortable to do so. Please respect your fellow fans and staff by employing common sense and we can all enjoy the path back to normality. Thank you for your continued cooperation and support.

THE STORY

The Witches host the Peterborough Panthers in their final home fixture of the Premiership season at Foxhall on Thursday night. The 2021 season hasn’t gone to plan for the Witches who have nothing to race for but pride in their two remaining meetings. Although it is still not 100% confirmed mathematically, Ipswich’s play-off hopes were all but ended some weeks ago and defeat at Sheffield last time out all but guaranteed that the Tigers will claim the final fourth spot. With just pride to race for, Ritchie Hawkins is keen for his side to deliver a win for the supporters to end their season at home on a high.

Ipswich are hoping to welcome back Craig Cook to the side as he awaits SCB clearance to return to racing after he missed last week’s fixtures to concentrate on his mental health. The hosts will be without Jake Allen who is still feeling the effects of his Covid-19 jab and rider replacement will be used in his place. Danny King’s fine season continued last time out at Owlerton as he racked up 13 points and his form this sees him move to the number one spot with Jason Crump now at number three. Paul Starke is back in the main body of the side as Anders Rowe returns to the reserve position. The Witches were beaten last time the Panthers came to Foxhall and must deliver a much-improved performance against their high-flying opponents if they are to achieve a positive result.

HAWKINS PREVIEW

Ipswich ‘Tru Plant’ Witches team manager Richie Hawkins gives us his pre-match thoughts…

“It is our last home meeting of the year and we want to finish on a slight high. Peterborough are a very good team and proved what a good team they are at Foxhall last time. They beat us convincingly last time at our place and we are going to need to perform a lot better than we have done in recent weeks to avoid another defeat. We have said it before but hopefully Thursday night is the night we can all perform together and finish the season with a win. Everyone has stuck by us this year and we need to give our loyal supporters something to cheer about because they have seen far too many defeats.

“I’m very hopeful that we have our one to seven out and with a new riding order after Jason’s average changed. Danny goes to number one and I know he wanted to get back to that position, so he has been rewarded for being our best rider consistently this season. I’m sure he will enjoy wearing the Witches number one again.

“Anders drops back to reserve and hopefully that will give him a bit of a confidence boost in the last two meetings as he was exceptional there at the start of the season. Paul is back in the team and with the form he has been in that shouldn’t make a difference to him.”

THE OPPOSITION

Peterborough have been the surprise package for many in 2021 although it is not hard to see why they have performed so well this campaign. A side packed with experienced riders who have raced at the highest level was labelled ‘Dad’s Army’ at the start of the season and was not tipped for success by many. However, the Panthers have adopted their new nickname and shown that age is just a number with a string of impressive results that has seen them confirm their place in the play-offs already. Peterborough are yet to leave an away ground empty-handed this year and will be confident of keeping that run going at Foxhall on Thursday against a side low on confidence.

The Peterborough side was built with strength in depth in mind and having Hans Andersen at reserve just proves that point. Former Grand Prix star Chris Harris also had a spell piling up the points at reserve earlier this season whilst the likes of Scott Nicholls and Michael Palm Toft have been doing the business in the main body of the side. The Panthers are somewhat depleted coming to Suffolk and are without three of their regular riders. Thomas Jorgensen guests at number one for the injured Ulrich Ostergaard and Leon Flint guests for the injured Jordan Palin in the Rising Star position. They will also be without Bjarne Pedersen who is serving a mandatory seven-day suspension after being absent due to illness, with Erik Riss guesting in his place. Rob Lyon’s side have top of the table in their sights and will know that a win at Foxhall will give them a huge boost in their bid to reach the summit.

LOOK OUT FOR MR SPARKY

NGK Spark Plugs’ Mr Sparky will be at the stadium on Thursday collecting for charity. Please dig deep for the Down’s Syndrome Association. Thank you.

BLAST FROM THE PAST

We will have four ‘Blast from the Past’ races following the conclusion of Thursday’s fixture which include a Weslake, Godden, JAP and Jawa.

THOMAS WOLSEY PUPILS VISIT FOXHALL

By Henry Chard

We were delighted to host some visitors from the Thomas Wolsey Ormiston Academy at our last fixture at Foxhall.

Managing Director of our title sponsor Tru7.com Guy Nicholls and the Tru7 Group are extremely proud to be supporting the Academy based in Ipswich and back in December 2019 pledged to donate £100,000 via the GeeWizz Charity organisation, who are fundraising for a new SENDs playground at the school.

The school is for children aged 3-16 with physical, medical and /or sensory needs and associated learning difficulties. EYFS and Primary Lead at the school Amanda Jebb explained how much the donation will mean to the children. 

“Everyone here at Thomas Wolsey is incredibly grateful for Guy’s very generous donation which is being used towards the playground project at Thomas Wolsey,” said Jebb. “The playground needed a lot of updating to enable greater access for all and to facilitate greater learning and play opportunities for our very special pupils.  

“A huge amount of thought has gone into the planning of every aspect of the playground for example how to make it accessible and enjoyable for children with visual and hearing impairments, how opportunities for physiotherapy can be incorporated into the design and how children can take a different journey and adventure in the playground each time they come outside.  

“The plans for the playground mean that pupils will be able to access areas such as an allotment, a beach and a forest area, these areas can be difficult for pupils and families to access in the community due to physical needs. The canopies which are being installed also mean that the pupils can be outside in all weathers, and we are looking forward to having a quieter sensory area with water features and mirrors where pupils can relax and reflect in.”

“Our hopes and dreams for the playground wouldn’t have been possible without the very kind support from Guy and other local businesses.”

Jebb also gave an update on how progress is going on the project.

“The team working on the playground have worked incredibly hard. New paths have been created, existing canopies have been removed to make way for bigger and better canopies, and our very overgrown allotment has now been cleared and has had a paved flooring laid and existing wooden surfaces have had a fresh coat of paint. A boat has even sailed from its home in one playground and secured in place in our beach area in the main playground!

“It has been great watching the beginning of the transformation over the summer and we look forward to sharing this with the pupils when they return in September.”

Jebb finished by saying how much everyone enjoyed their trip to Foxhall to watch the Witches in action with many attending the next fixture on home shale against Peterborough.

“We all had a fantastic time visiting Foxhall Stadium to watch the Speedway. Sometimes it can be difficult to find something suitable for the whole family to do together. The facilities at Foxhall meant pupils and their family could share a new experience together and with friends.  

“The pupils loved meeting some of the riders, listening to and looking at the bikes in the pits, going onto the track and talking with the staff. Once the races and the music started the children really came to life- they were cheering, smiling, tracking the different movements of the bikes around the track, and talking about what they were seeing.

“The atmosphere of the stadium was a completely new and enjoyable experience for all. The families were grateful for the opportunity, and many have said it is somewhere they will return to in the very near future.”  

Ipswich promoter Chris Louis extended a warm welcome for teachers, pupils and parents to visit Foxhall at any time in the future.

“It’s an honour to be able to help the Thomas Wolsey School by offering another venue for the pupils and families to be able to visit,” said Louis. “Our association has come through our sponsors the Tru7 group and the fabulous support that Guy and the team are giving them at the moment. 

“I am so pleased that Speedway offers them a night out in the fresh air with so many different things to engage with, the noise, the smell, speed and action.  We look forward to welcoming them as often as they can visit.”

SHEFFIELD 52-38 IPSWICH: RACEDAY REPORT

By Henry Chard

THE SCORES

SHEFFIELD 52: Jack Holder 10+2, Troy Batchelor 8+1, Kyle Howarth © 6+2, Josh Pickering 9, Adam Ellis 9+1, Danyon Hume (RS) 1, Stefan Nielsen 9+2. Team Manager: Simon Stead

IPSWICH 38: Jason Crump 5, Anders Rowe 1, Jake Allen 4+1, Chris Harris (g) 12+1, Danny King © 13, Paul Starke 2, Drew Kemp (RS) 1. Team Manager: Ritchie Hawkins

REFEREE: D. Watters

PREMIERSHIP TABLE

TeamMeetingsPoints
Wolverhampton1642
Peterborough1436
Belle Vue1531
Sheffield1425
Ipswich1818
King’s Lynn1510

WHAT HAPPENED?

The ‘Tru Plant’ Witches fell to another defeat on Thursday night in the Premiership as they were beaten away at Sheffield.

Ipswich were without Craig Cook going into the clash after he decided to take a break from racing to focus on his mental health, with Chris Harris coming in as a guest at number four. The Tigers started strongly and saw out their victory with relative ease. Danny King top scored with 13 points.

The Tigers started with a 5-1 courtesy of Troy Batchelor and Jack Holder in heat one and they followed that up with a 4-2 in heat two as Stefan Nielsen won ahead of Paul Starke and Danyon Hume picked up a point. Ipswich guest Chris Harris was excellent in his heat three win as he got the better of Josh Pickering with Jake Allen third for a heat advantage to the visitors. King won a shared heat four leaving the Witches four points down after the opening exchanges.

Sheffield extended their lead in heat five with a maximum before King continued his strong start with another win in heat six ahead of Holder and Batchelor as the points were shared. Newly crowned British champion Adam Ellis won heat seven in another 3-3 but the Tigers pulled 12 points clear with a 5-1 in heat eight.

Team manager Ritchie Hawkins responded in heat nine by putting Harris in as a tactical substitution and although King made it three wins from three, Harris couldn’t get amongst the points which resulted in a 3-3. Holder won heat 10 but Harris managed to split the home pair as he got past Batchelor for second, limiting the South Yorkshire side to a 4-2. Jason Crump won heat 11 for the Witches ahead of Ellis as Anders Rowe claimed third for a heat advantage to the away side. Kyle Howarth won heat 12 and Starke held second before having to retire with bike issues and although Allen won the battle against Nielsen it resulted in a heat advantage to the home team that put them on the brink of victory.

The result was confirmed in heat 13 as Ellis and Holder raced to a 5-1. Harris was proving to be a good choice of guest and he won a shared 14. Ipswich finished with a flourish as King and Harris teamed up for a 1-5 in the final race of the night, leaving the final score 52-38 to Sheffield.

HAWKINS REACTION

Ipswich ‘Tru Plant’ Witches team manager Ritchie Hawkins reflects on defeat in South Yorkshire.

“It was another big defeat on the road but tonight, unlike other meetings where at least we have been in it for the first half of the meeting, we really weren’t in it at all tonight. It was the same story, not enough riders going well enough. Danny was absolutely superb, and Bomber (Chris Harris) came in and was a brilliant guest. He is in great form at the moment, and you could see that tonight. It was sad not to have Craig with us and tonight he was replaced well but there are more important things than speedway in that situation.

“Craig has got his personal reasons and I don’t want to comment on that, but we are here for him if he needs it.

“Danny was gating well and was gone, Bomber did more of his work from the back and provided the entertainment and they were our resilience tonight. Jason rode really well to get his heat win but overall, as a team it was nowhere near good enough.

“We have lost far too many meetings at home this year, as I have said before, so we have one more chance to provide our home fans with a positive result and some entertainment. Then we go to Peterborough, a place we all love going to and we always love going there. We will enjoy racing there and we will look forward to that one.”

RIDER OF THE NIGHT

Once again it was captain King who was the leading light for Ipswich as he scored 13 points from five rides which included four race wins.

WHAT IT MEANS

The Witches remain fifth after defeat whilst Sheffield strengthen their grip on fourth with three points. Bar the mathematics being 100% confirmed, the result means that the Tigers will compete in the play-offs whilst the Witches will miss out.

WHAT’S NEXT?

The ‘Tru Plant’ Witches host the Peterborough Panthers on Thursday 2nd September at Foxhall Stadium in a Premiership fixture. Tickets can be purchased here.

COOK TAKING A BREAK FROM RACING

Ipswich ‘Tru Plant’ Witches rider Craig Cook is taking a break from racing to focus on his mental health.

Promoter Chris Louis says the club are fully supportive of Cook and explained how his absence will be covered at Sheffield on Thursday evening.

“Craig is currently struggling with his mental health that has plagued his career and needs to take some time out,” said Louis. “We have been granted a facility for this evening’s meeting and will be using Chris Harris as a guest. 

“Craig’s return to racing will be reviewed by the SCB and we fully understand his situation, wish him all the very best and hope to have him back in the team soon.”

Everyone at the club wishes Craig well and will be supporting him through this period.

SHEFFIELD V IPSWICH: RACEDAY PREVIEW

By Henry Chard

All the details ahead of our Premiership fixture with Sheffield.

WHEN & WHERE

The ‘Tru Plant’ Witches travel to South Yorkshire to face Sheffield at Owlerton on Thursday 26th August in a Premiership fixture that starts at 7.30pm.

TEAMS

SHEFFIELD: 1. Jack Holder 8.08 2. Troy Batchelor 7.39 3. Kyle Howarth 6.39 © 4. Josh Pickering 4.98 5. Adam Ellis 7.25 6. Danyon Hume (RS) 7. Stefan Nielsen 3.00. Team Manager: Simon Stead

IPSWICH: 1. Jason Crump 8.00 2. Anders Rowe 5.38 3. Jake Allen 5.15 4. Chris Harris (g) 7.56 5. Danny King 7.10 © 6. Paul Starke 4.82 7. Drew Kemp (RS). Team Manager: Ritchie Hawkins

REFEREE: D. Watters

PREMIERSHIP TABLE

TeamMeetingsPoints
Wolverhampton1540
Peterborough1436
Belle Vue1531
Sheffield1322
Ipswich1718
King’s Lynn149

TICKETS

Tickets can be purchased online here.

THE STORY

The Witches travel to South Yorkshire on Thursday to take on the Sheffield Tigers at Owlerton. Ipswich are looking to bounce back from a miserable night at Foxhall last week as they were comprehensively beaten on home shale by league leaders Wolves. The season is all but mathematically over for the Suffolk side who sit fifth, four points behind the Tigers in the final play-off spot with just three fixtures to race whilst Sheffield have seven meetings to complete. The Witches can take heart from their last visit to Owlerton earlier this season where they picked up a consolation point after a 48-42 defeat.

The away side are without Craig Cook for the fixture after he announced he would be taking a break from racing to focus on his mental health. Former Witch Chris Harris will guest in his absence at number four. Ritchie Hawkins will be looking to captain Danny King to continue his impressive form and lead from the front at a former home track of his. Jake Allen top scored with 10 in our last visit to Sheffield, his last double figure score in Witches kevlars, and he will be hoping a return to South Yorkshire sees him recapture his best form. The play-offs may be out of sight, but the Witches are racing to restore some pride and give their travelling support something to cheer about.

HAWKINS PREVIEW

Ipswich ‘Tru Plant’ Witches team manager Ritchie Hawkins gives his pre-match thoughts…

“We put in a good performance there last time and I was really pleased with how we went on our first visit to Sheffield. We ran them really close, and the boys have got three meetings now to show everyone what they can do. We have performed better on the road this season than at home and hopefully the boys relax, believe in themselves and perform how we know they are capable of. If we do that, we will give Sheffield a tough night.

“Yes, the season in terms of play-offs and success is over but we have not given anyone enough to cheer about this season. It is not a lack of effort; it is a lack of confidence. No one is enjoying going to speedway meetings and getting beaten and getting beaten so heavily. In a sense that pressure is off us now and the boys need to go and race their bikes and show a bit of passion for Ipswich.

“Danny set a great example of that last Thursday with how he rode, and you can see how much Ipswich means to him and that is what we want from the boys. Hopefully we can put our confidence issues aside and put everything into giving our great supporters something to cheer about over the next three meetings.”

THE OPPOSITION

Sheffield have all but mathematically confirmed their spot in the play-offs despite not hitting their top form in 2021 so far. The Tigers have been battling it out with the Witches for that fourth and final spot in recent weeks and it looked like it would go to the wire until two away wins at King’s Lynn and Foxhall have put them seemingly out of reach for the Witches. Sheffield have been struggling at home recently and have suffered two defeats in a row in front of their home supporters but will be looking to put that right on Thursday and start building some momentum over their last seven fixtures heading into the play-offs.

The home side have made changes at the bottom end of their side in the last few weeks with Stefan Nielsen and Danyon Hume coming into the side to replace James Wright and the injured Josh Bates. Former Witch Adam Ellis is having a season to remember and will relish being introduced to his home fans as the new British champion after he was victorious in Manchester last week.

AWAY DAYS

An adult ticket costs £19, concessions £17, children (12-16) £6 and children (under 12) £1. Official programmes cost £3. All the stadium is open except the back straight which remains closed for safety reasons. There is seating in the Panorama Room, which also boasts a restaurant and bar overlooking the track. There is a fast-food bar and the Panorama Room Restaurant also offers a ‘Speedway Special’ carvery with a choice of meats. The Panorama Room Restaurant has large bar with ideal viewing facilities in addition to the carvery. Reserve your table now by calling Owlerton Stadium on 01142 343074. For travel information head here.

For more information about the club head to Sheffield’s official website.

IPSWICH 36–54 WOLVERHAMPTON: RACEDAY REPORT

By Henry Chard

MEETING SPONSORS

Simply Climate Control – What sets Simply Climate Control apart from other conventional air conditioning businesses is our commitment to our core company values. Transparency, integrity and passion.

ITFC CommercialIpswich Town FC is a seven-day-a-week venue, offering match day hospitality along with the use of the facilities on non-match days for conferencing and events.

THE SCORES

IPSWICH 36: Jason Crump 3, Anders Rowe 3, Jake Allen 1, Craig Cook 7, Danny King © 14, Paul Starke 5+2, Drew Kemp (RS) 3. Team Manager: Ritchie Hawkins

WOLVES 54: Sam Masters 9+1, Broc Nicol 5+2, Nick Morris 8+1, Luke Becker 8+3, Rory Schlein © 11+1, Ryan Douglas 3+2, Leon Flint (RS) 10. Team Manager: Peter Adams

REFEREE: W. Jarvis

PREMIERSHIP TABLE

TeamMeetingsPoints
Wolverhampton1440
Peterborough1333
Belle Vue1428
Sheffield1322
Ipswich1718
King’s Lynn138

WHAT HAPPENED?

The ‘Tru Plant’ Witches suffered a painful defeat as Wolverhampton ran riot at Foxhall on Thursday night in the Premiership.

The league leaders were dominant throughout the contest and raced to a convincing victory in Suffolk to extend their winning run to nine. It was a night everyone associated with Ipswich Speedway will want to forget in a hurry as they had no answer to their opposition on home shale. Captain Danny King top scored with 14.

Jason Crump picked up a warning for moving at the start of heat one and Wolves made their intentions clear in the re-run as they started with a maximum heat advantage. Heat two didn’t get past the first turn either as Drew Kemp was the victim of some first bend bunching with all four called back. Despite the fall, Kemp came out and won the re-run, but after challenging for second late on in the race Paul Starke ended up being relegated to the back meaning a 3-3. Craig Cook won heat three from the gate with Jake Allen third for a first heat advantage to the home team. King won heat four as the points were shared, leaving the Witches two points behind after four races.

Sam Masters won heat five for the visitors ahead of Cook with Broc Nicol third for a Wolves heat advantage. Crump won heat six for the hosts but with Anders Rowe at the back it was a 3-3. The away side extended their lead in heat seven with a 1-5 courtesy of Luke Becker and Nick Morris despite the best efforts of King in third. Another maximum followed for Wolves in heat eight putting them 12 points up and in a commanding position.

Rory Schlein won heat nine as he got the better of Cook and with Ryan Douglas third it was another heat advantage to the league leaders. Morris received a warning for moving at the start of heat 10 but things got worse for the hosts in the re-run as Morris took the chequered flag and was joined by Becker for yet another 1-5. King and Starke recorded a 5-1 in heat 11 to end the Wolves run of race winners and heat advantages but it was a case of damage limitation for Ipswich at this stage rather than the start of a comeback. It was the same pair out again in heat 12 as team manager Ritchie Hawkins put out King as a tactical substitute and Starke as a reserve switch and they were able to produce a repeat result to reduce Wolves’ lead to 10 points with three to race.

Wolves’ win was mathematically confirmed in heat 13 as Schlein and Masters raced to a 1-5. The table toppers were piling on the misery and added another maximum in heat 14. King could hold his head high as he won a shared heat 15 and it signalled the end of a miserable night with Wolves recording a thumping win at Foxhall.

HAWKINS REACTION

Ipswich ‘Tru Plant’ Witches team manager Ritchie Hawkins reflects on Thursday’s defeat to Wolves.

“We were completely outraced by a far superior team, one that looks like potential champions against one that certainly does not. It was the same old story for us, not enough people going well on the same night and relying on half the team to win you a meeting. That does not work.

“I can understand why everyone is unhappy, we are all unhappy. I don’t think it is a lack of effort, you have got a team that is full of confidence against one that’s not. That really showed on the track and we have not performed as a unit at all this season, and it has not worked.

“We have still got three fixtures to race, and we go to two away tracks that we have gone well at this year previously and then one home match to give our supporters something to cheer about. Yes, there may be a lot of online criticism, but we really appreciate people coming through the turnstiles still to watch the speedway. We are not winning enough races or meetings but there is some decent entertainment there and we want to win our last meeting at home to give our fans a positive result to cheer about. Things are very tough for us at the moment.

“Danny had another brilliant performance as skipper and his ride in heat 15 was absolutely superb. You can see what the club means to him in the way he rides, and it would be lovely to have seven of him out there but that is not realistic.”

SIMPLY CLIMATE CONTROL & ITFC COMMERCIAL RIDERS OF THE NIGHT

Ipswich Town Director of Performance Andy Rolls (left) and chief operating officer Luke Werhun with their rider of the night Danny King
From the left, John Keatley, Matt and Mick Becker, representing sponsors Simply Climate Control, with their rider of the night Danny King

Unsurprisingly King picked up both awards after top scoring with 14 points which included four race wins from six rides.

WHAT IT MEANS

Defeat for Ipswich sees them stay fifth and they are all but mathematically out of the play-off race. Wolves march on, adding four points to their tally to strengthen their position at the top of the Premiership.

WHAT’S NEXT?

The ‘Tru Plant’ Witches travel to South Yorkshire to face the Sheffield Tigers on Thursday 26th August in a Premiership fixture. Tickets can be purchased here.

IPSWICH V WOLVERHAMPTON: RACEDAY PREVIEW

By Henry Chard

All the details ahead of our Premiership fixture with Wolverhampton.

WHEN & WHERE

The ‘Tru Plant’ Witches host the Wolverhampton Wolves at Foxhall Stadium on Thursday 19th August in a Premiership fixture that starts at 7.30pm.

MEETING SPONSORS

Simply Climate Control – What sets Simply Climate Control apart from other conventional air conditioning businesses is our commitment to our core company values. Transparency, integrity and passion.

ITFC CommercialIpswich Town FC is a seven-day-a-week venue, offering match day hospitality along with the use of the facilities on non-match days for conferencing and events.

TEAMS

IPSWICH: 1. Jason Crump 8.00 2. Anders Rowe 5.38 3. Jake Allen 5.15 4. Craig Cook 7.56 5. Danny King 7.10 © 6. Paul Starke 4.82 7. Drew Kemp (RS). Team Manager: Ritchie Hawkins

WOLVES: 1. Sam Masters 7.91 2. Broc Nicol 5.95 3. Nick Morris 6.99 4. Luke Becker 6.11 5. Rory Schlein 7.26 © 6. Ryan Douglas 5.38 7. Leon Flint (RS). Team Manager: Peter Adams

REFEREE: W. Jarvis

PREMIERSHIP TABLE

TeamMeetingsPoints
Wolverhampton1336
Peterborough1333
Belle Vue1428
Sheffield1322
Ipswich1618
King’s Lynn138

TICKETS

Tickets are available to buy online (until 7pm on raceday) and on the gate and are priced at £19 for adults, £17 for concessions (65+), £5 for students (16-17). Children 15 and under go free. Official programmes are priced at £3 and are available at the stadium. Car parking is free for all supporters. Debit and credit card payments are accepted. Turnstiles open at 6.40pm.

COVID-19 UPDATE & GUIDELINES

Following the government’s relaxation of Covid-19 restrictions, we can confirm that the pits will be open as usual for fans to get autographs and photos with the riders. Turnstiles open at 6.40pm and the home straight Grandstand will be open on a first come, first served basis with limited numbers. Alcohol will be served at our beverage outlets. Regular touch-point cleaning will continue at key areas including the turnstiles and toilets. We also ask that you maintain social a sensible social distance where possible and recommend wearing a mask in crowded areas if you feel comfortable to do so. Please respect your fellow fans and staff by employing common sense and we can all enjoy the path back to normality. Thank you for your continued cooperation and support.

THE STORY

The Witches host the Wolverhampton Wolves in the penultimate home Premiership fixture at Foxhall on Thursday night. Ipswich’s play-off hopes were all but ended last time out at Foxhall when they were defeated by the Sheffield meaning they fell four points behind the Tigers who occupy the fourth and final spot for the play-offs. With the South Yorkshire outfit having three meetings in hand on the Witches and with just four meetings to race for the Suffolk side, it would need a dramatic turnaround for Ritchie Hawkins’ side to make it. However, whilst it is still mathematically possible, the Witches will keep on fighting as they look to deliver some joy to their loyal supporters with a home win.

Ipswich will be at full strength for the fixture having welcomed back Jason Crump to the side last time out. The former world champion scored 9+1 on his return and has been sorely missed for a large portion of the campaign at number one. Four Witches were in action in Monday’s British Final at the National Speedway Stadium, but the event did not go to plan for those involved. Craig Cook and Danny King went into the meeting with high hopes of lifting the title, but both exited at the qualifying stage. Anders Rowe scored one point on his debut and competed well whilst it was a night to forget for Paul Starke who failed to score. The Witches have not fared well against Wolves in 2021 and have lost all three meetings against the league leaders so far, and they know they will have to be at their very best if they are to achieve a positive result on Thursday.

HAWKINS PREVIEW

Ipswich ‘Tru Plant’ Witches team manager Ritchie Hawkins gives us his pre-match thoughts…

“Wolves have already won at our place this year, but we have got our 1-7 out for two meetings in a row now. We are going to need to perform better than our last meeting, but I have no doubt if we all perform at the same time, we can get the win.

“We are racing for pride now and at the moment speedway is not fun if you are losing. We have got four meetings to try and enjoy it and take some enjoyment out of the year for themselves as well as the supporters. We have got plenty to race for in the pride stakes and no one comes to a speedway meeting not wanting to win.

“We have lost too many at home and we have not given the fans enough to cheer about. We have got two meetings left at home, so we need to provide them with some entertainment and make up a little bit for what has been a disappointing year.”

THE OPPOSITION

Wolverhampton have been a dominant force in 2021 and the only question mark in the regular season is what position they will finish in the top four, having confirmed their play-off spot last week. Wolves currently occupy top spot in the Premiership and have a perfect home record with seven wins from seven. On their travels they already have four victories to their name, and they have suffered defeat only twice all season. The visitors are solid throughout with strength in every department. Sam Masters is a Foxhall track expert and scored a paid maximum in their 41-49 win at Foxhall in June and captain Rory Schlein has raced many laps in Suffolk having spent time with the Witches in his career. Nick Morris has found his top form this season whilst the American duo of Luke Becker and Broc Nicol have been impressing everyone at the lower end of the side. The West Midlands side will be hoping to extend their winning run to nine on Thursday.