By Henry Chard
WHEN AND WHERE…
The ‘Tru Plant’ Witches host the Peterborough Panthers at Foxhall Stadium on Thursday 22nd August in a Premiership clash that starts at 7.30pm.
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IPSWICH: 1.Chris Harris 6.83 2. Richard Lawson 6.75 3. Cameron Heeps 6.26 4. Jake Allen 5.80 5. Danny King 6.42 © 6. Krystian Pieszczek 5.36 7. Edward Kennett 5.71. Team Manager: Ritchie Hawkins
PETERBOROUGH: 1. Nick Agertoft (g) 7.17 2. Ulrich Ostergaard (g) 5.40 3. Luke Becker (g) 6.39 4. R/R for Hans Andersen 6.89 5. Scott Nicholls 5.96 © 6. Aaron Summers 4.99 7. Ben Morley (g) 4.84. Team Manager: Carl Johnson
REFEREE: D. Robinson
VENUE: Foxhall Stadium
Tickets are available on the gate and are priced at £18 for adults, £16 for concessions (60+), £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.
WHAT’S THE STORY?
The ‘Tru Plant’ Witches play host to another East Anglian battle as they take on the Peterborough Panthers at Foxhall on Thursday. Ipswich were in action on home shale last Thursday when they took on the Swindon Robins and were well beaten at Foxhall on a disappointing night. The Suffolk side have enjoyed good results against the Panthers in 2019, winning at Foxhall whilst also winning twice at the East of England Arena & Events Centre, collecting the maximum eleven points on offer in the process.
The home side welcome back Edward Kennett at reserve following the 10 day ban he was given from the Speedway Control Bureau. Team manager Ritchie Hawkins has made a change to the riding order for this meeting, with Richard Lawson moving back to number two where he did so well earlier in the season. Cameron Heeps now finds himself at number three whilst captain Danny King is at number five. The Witches will be looking to complete a clean sweep of victories over Peterborough this season but will know their performances need to improve vastly at Foxhall if they are to win and edge closer to confirming their play-off spot.
FROM THE MANAGER…
‘Tru Plant’ Witches team manager Ritchie Hawkins looks ahead to Thursday’s clash…
“This week we need to get three points and a home win otherwise things will start to become difficult for us to make the play-offs. We need to get some wins on the board and get ourselves in a more secure position. A couple of home defats have dropped us back down into the race for the top four.
“I have switched the riding order around and Richard as you would expect did well at number two previously in the year, he is a very solid number two. Cam is extremely good around Ipswich and is having a great season. For him to be in the number three position and be a heat leader, he should be ready to step up to that role.
“The Panthers are having a very tough season but when you look at their team, they have a lot of former Ipswich riders and they are going to come here looking to do well and get a win. We need to make sure we up our game and be sharper. We need to be more focused and determined to get back to winning ways. We will not take them lightly with the side they are bringing, and we need to be 100% focused and ready to do the business.
“We need to rebuild now, and a win starts that rebuilding process. We still have a month until the play-offs start if we can perform well over the next few meetings, then we can get ourselves back into a strong position, starting on Thursday night.”
Peterborough have endured a difficult season to say the least. Before a wheel was turned in 2019 things started to go wrong and as the season has gone on, injuries have hampered their chances and despite many team changes their fortunes have not improved. The Panthers are currently bottom of the Premiership and even the most ardent of their supporters would admit that their play-off hopes are over. They have been defeated four times at home and have picked up just four points on their travels but will be hoping to put a dent in Ipswich’s hopes for the top four.
Ipswich-born Scott Nicholls captains a severely depleted Peterborough side. There are not many riders that know Foxhall better than the seven-times British champion who was part of the Ipswich treble-winning team of 1998. Rohan Tungate is absent and at such late notice on the afternoon of the meeting, Nick Agertoft has been booked as a guest. Former Witch Hans Andersen misses out with a wrist injury and rider replacement will be used at four in his absence. Luke Becker guests for the injured British champion Charles Wright and Ulrich Ostergaard deputises for Ty Proctor who is out with a back injury. Ben Morley has replaced Jason Garrity who broke-down on the way to Suffolk.
AROUND THE TRACKS…
Ipswich were heavily beaten on home shale last Thursday as Swindon ran out 53-37 winners whilst King’s Lynn beat Wolverhampton 54-36 to keep their play-off hopes alive.
On Monday night, Belle Vue were defeated 43-47 on home shale by Wolverhampton at the National Speedway Stadium. King’s Lynn beat Peterborough 53-37 and Poole recorded a 46-44 win over Swindon.