By Henry Chard
WHEN AND WHERE…
The ‘Tru Plant’ Witches host the Peterborough Panthers at Foxhall Stadium on Thursday 6th June in a Premiership clash that starts at 7.30pm.
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IPSWICH: 1.Richard Lawson 7.32 2. Danny King 6.51 © 3. Chris Harris 7.08 4. David Bellego 5.83 5. R/R for Krystian Pieszczek 5.92 6. Cameron Heeps 5.26 7. Coty Garcia (g) 5.35 8. Matt Marson. Team Manager: Ritchie Hawkins
PETERBOROUGH: 1. R/R for Hans Andersen 7.05 2. Scott Nicholls 6.13 © 3. Kyle Newman (g) 5.35 4. Charles Wright 6.11 5. Rohan Tungate 6.91 6. Aaron Summers 4.91 7. Bradley Wilson-Dean 5.19. Team Manager: Carl Johnson
REFEREE: C. Turnbull
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 host East Anglian rivals Peterborough Panthers at Foxhall on Thursday. It has been over two weeks since the Witches raced on home shale and they will be eager to pick up where they left off and continue their 100% home record in 2019. Ipswich were in action on Monday night at Belle Vue as they went down 47-43 in a last heat decider at the National Speedway Stadium. Another point on the road was the least their efforts deserved, and the Witches currently sit second in the Premiership table after a strong start to the campaign.
There are two changes for the home team as Coty Garcia guests in place of Jake Allen at reserve. Allen picked up a shoulder injury following a crash at Foxhall against Poole in the Supporters Cup last month but made his return on Monday at Belle Vue and scored 4 for the Witches. However, the Australian has suffered too much pain since returning and sits this one out. Krystian Pieszczek also misses out after suffering a knee injury in Poland and rider replacement will be used at number five. Matt Marson will be at number eight. David Bellego scored 10 in Manchester and recently qualified for the Speedway European Championship and he will hope to carry on his recent good form with a string of positive performances in Witches kevlars. Ipswich took a four-point win at Peterborough earlier this season and they will know that the Panthers will be keen for revenge in Suffolk on Thursday.
FROM THE MANAGER…
‘Tru Plant’ Witches team manager Ritchie Hawkins looks ahead to Thursday’s clash…
“We have had two weeks off from racing at home and our last performance here wasn’t perfect, but we battled hard to get the win. Peterborough are coming to us in good form and we need to keep up the levels we have already set. We need to make sure we get the three points and ensure they don’t take anything from it.
“It has been a great start to the season, as good as any of us could have hoped for. The team are impressing me every week and everywhere we go we are putting up a good show and improving. There is so much more to come from us and the most pleasing thing is I don’t think we are anywhere near our best, but we are doing so well. We cannot rest on that and we need to push on and do better.
“I went and watched Peterborough on bank holiday when they took on King’s Lynn and I thought they were very impressive. They had a superb win at Poole, so they will come to us full of confidence and looking to get those points back that we took off them at their place. Without Hans, that will weaken them a bit, but we must concentrate on ourselves like we always do and if we perform like we are capable of doing then we will get wins everywhere.”
Having moved up to the Premiership this season, it is fair to say that it has been a turbulent start to life back in the top flight. Well documented off the track issues affected their preparation before the season began and, on the track, things did not go to plan at first, but their prospects are looking up after recent team changes. The Panthers were well beaten by the Witches on home shale last month, a defeat that left team manager Carl Johnson hinting at team changes. Out went Ben Barker and Lasse Bjerre and in came Scott Nicholls and Josh Bates and three wins have followed including a win away at champions Poole. The Panthers come into this one in fine form and they will be keen to avenge their defeat to Ipswich on Thursday.
However, they will be without captain Hans Andersen, who is out injured with a fractured shoulder blade. Rider replacement will be used at number one. Bates has also failed a fitness test and Kyle Newman will guest in his place. Ipswich asset Rohan Tungate is at number five and the in-form Charles Wright is at number four, having recently been named as one of Great Britain’s riders to compete in the Grand Prix qualifiers.
AROUND THE TRACKS…
On Monday, Belle Vue edged out Ipswich 47-43 at the National Speedway Stadium whilst King’s Lynn beat Wolverhampton 52-38 at home.