By Henry Chard
WHEN AND WHERE…
The ‘Tru Plant’ Witches host the Swindon Robins at Foxhall Stadium on Thursday 25th April in a Premiership Supporters Cup clash that starts at 7.30pm.
IPSWICH: 1.Chris Harris 7.59 2. David Bellego 6.11 3. Danny King 6.36 © 4. Krystian Pieszczek 6.50 5. Richard Lawson 6.55 6. Cameron Heeps 4.72 7. Jake Allen 4.56. Team Manager: Ritchie Hawkins
SWINDON: 1. Jason Doyle 9.80 © 2. Dawid Lampart 4.58 3. Troy Batchelor 7.69 4. Adam Ellis 6.26 5. Tobiasz Musielak 6.52 6. Zach Wajtknecht 4.26 7. James Shanes 3.23 Team Manager: Alun Rossiter
REFEREE: M. Bates
SOUTHERN GROUP SUPPORTERS CUP TABLE…
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 Witches continue their Supporters Cup campaign with a crucial meeting against Swindon at Foxhall. Ipswich are now halfway through their group games in the competition, having won one and lost two so far and have no margin for error this Thursday against the leaders if they are to keep their cup hopes alive. The Witches hammered King’s Lynn at Foxhall but have suffered defeats on the road at both King’s Lynn and Swindon so far in the group. Ipswich sit second in the group, five points behind the Robins with both sides having three meetings left to race.
The two sides met at the Abbey on Monday night with the Robins running out 51-39 winners. Chris Harris returned from injury in fantastic form scoring 12+1 and his inclusion is a real boost to the team and fans who have taken to his entertaining style straight away. The Ipswich reserves Cameron Heeps and Jake Allen have been in stunning form so far in 2019 and with both being able to take seven rides, they are a threat to any team in the division and could be the difference on Thursday. The Witches know that nothing but a win will do and they will be keen to ensure the Robins go away from Suffolk pointless as the race for top spot heats up. Fans are reminded that the Witches riders for heat 14 will be chosen by them. Look out for the Twitter poll on our official account after heat 10, you have 15 minutes to cast your vote for the Witch you want to see in heat 14 and the top two in the poll will be the riders that compete in the heat. The two riders chosen in heat 14 will not be permitted to take part in heat 15.
FROM THE MANAGER…
‘Tru Plant’ Witches team manager Ritchie Hawkins looks ahead to Thursday’s clash…
“I want another good performance from the team, that is as valuable as anything at this point in time and then we will see how the group stands afterwards.
“We are going to need to ride like we have done in the last two weeks because they are a very good team. If we carry on how we have been going then I am confident of getting the win. It is going to be a tough test and we will need to be on our game. This is top flight speedway there will be no easy nights. Hopefully everyone will come out and support us because the crowd has been brilliant so far this season and it is really appreciated, and they can really make a difference.
“Doyley (Jason Doyle) is coming to town and everyone will want to see him. We have a great race track, it has been superb so far this season and we have seen some great racing. We are welcoming some big names to Foxhall and that is pleasing for everybody.”
Swindon have started the season strongly and if their early form is anything to go by they will be challenging on all fronts in 2019. They have only raced one league meeting but picked up a point at Wolverhampton after a 46-44 defeat. They sit top of the Supporters Cup group and know that any points picked up at Ipswich will strengthen their position further and enhance their chances of progression. They perhaps would have felt they were up against it in the group after their opening home meeting against Poole ended in a draw but having thumped the Pirates at Wimborne Road and backed it up with a home victory over Ipswich they now sit in pole position to meet Belle Vue in the final.
2017 world champion Jason Doyle captains the side and it is a rare chance for Witches fans to see a current Grand Prix rider taking to the shale in Suffolk. Doyle is undoubtedly one of the world’s top riders and the Witches riders will be keen to showcase their talents on home shale against the Australian which should lead to some entertaining action. Troy Batchelor is another rider with Grand Prix experience in the Robins’ ranks and former Witch Adam Ellis returns to a track he knows well having worn the Witch for two seasons at the start of his career. The 2017 Premiership champions are managed by Team Great Britain manager Alun Rossiter.
AROUND THE TRACKS…
King’s Lynn drew 45-45 away at Peterborough in the Premiership.
Belle Vue secured their place in the Premiership Supporters Cup final with a 54-36 win over Wolves on Monday afternoon at the National Speedway Stadium. The pair met again later that day at Monmore Green with Wolves running out 52-38 winners.
Swindon beat Ipswich 51-39 in the other Premiership Supporters Cup group on Monday.
Digital Media Manager at Ipswich Speedway