By Henry Chard
WHEN AND WHERE…
The ‘Tru Plant’ Witches travel to face the Peterborough Panthers at the East of England Arena & Events Centre on Monday 1st July in a Premiership clash that starts at 7.30pm.
PETERBOROUGH: 1. Hans Andersen 7.08 © 2. Ty Proctor 5.74 3. Scott Nicholls 5.92 4. Charles Wright 6.34 5. Rohan Tungate 6.80 6. Aaron Summers 5.00 7. Paul Starke (g) 5.11. Team Manager: Carl Johnson
IPSWICH: 1.Chris Harris 6.95 2. Richard Lawson 6.89 3. Danny King 6.51 © 4. Cameron Heeps 6.00 5. Krystian Pieszczek 5.71 6. Danny Ayres (g) 5.71 7. Jake Allen 5.43. Team Manager: Ritchie Hawkins
REFEREE: C. Durno
WHAT’S THE STORY?
The ‘Tru Plant’ Witches make the short journey to Cambridgeshire to face the Peterborough Panthers on Monday night, looking for more points on the road. Ipswich have been to the East of England Arena & Events Centre once already this season as they ran out 51-39 winners, taking the maximum four points on offer. The Witches currently sit second in the Premiership and a positive result away from home will be welcomed as they look to consolidate their position in the play-off places.
The Suffolk side were seemingly back to full strength with the welcome return of Jake Allen to the team. Allen had started the season in fantastic form before suffering a shoulder injury in May. A comeback in June was short-lived but the Australian has rested and worked hard to ensure he returns to track as fit as possible. Allen was in action for Championship side Scunthorpe at the Fours and scored two points from two outings. However, Edward Kennett misses out with Danny Ayres guesting in his place. Kennett crashed heavily on Friday whilst riding for his Championship club Eastbourne and is not fit enough to ride on Monday. Danny King will be looking to make it a hat-trick of track records, having already broken it twice at the East of England Arena this season. The Witches skipper set a time of 57.4 in the Witches’ win against the Panthers before breaking it with a time of 57.3 at the Championship Fours. Cameron Heeps has been scoring heavily from reserve and he now moves into the main body of the team after the latest set of averages were released. Chris Harris is back at number one with Richard Lawson at number two.
FROM THE MANAGER…
‘Tru Plant’ Witches team manager Ritchie Hawkins looks ahead to Monday’s clash…
“Six of the team rode at Peterborough last weekend and they all looked really good. We were brilliant there last time and we go there looking for another victory. Just because we won there last time, it will not make it any easier for us but it is one we can go into feeling confident to get the win.
“Every single meeting is tough but every time we have risen to the challenge. We have got to go there with confidence of getting a win. We dominated them last time and we have to try and get on top of them early again and do the same.
“Jake came through the Fours well and he has a couple of meetings before Monday, so fingers crossed he comes through that. We will be delighted to have him back in the side and I thought he rode well at the Fours in the couple of rides he had. He didn’t look like he had been off the bike for a while so that is positive.
“Without trying to speak for Danny, it is probably his favourite track, he loves the place. He has broken the track record there twice, so he will go there with confidence and it will be Cam’s first meeting in the main body of the team too. He goes well there too so for him it’s a great place for him to start there.
“Cam has been beating everyone so going into the main body of the team is just a number really so hopefully he can carry on from where he left off before we had the break. To look at a team and have Eddie at reserve, you would be delighted. I think it will be good for Eddie too to get back into top flight racing and get settled in the team at reserve. He has to relish the chance of making some money too.”
Peterborough have had a mixed start to 2019. A bad start to the season saw them struggling at home and following that defeat to Ipswich in May, team changes were made in a bid to turn their season around. Home form has since improved with three wins from three and they picked up a win away at Poole. However, the Panthers were also hammered 62-28 at Belle Vue too showing what an unpredictable side they can be.
Number one Hans Andersen is back from injury to lead the Peterborough side and he is not the only former Witch in the Panthers side with Ipswich asset Rohan Tungate at five and Ipswich-born Scott Nicholls at three. The hosts have replaced the injured Bradley Wilson-Dean with the signing of Ty Proctor who was recently released by King’s Lynn. Paul Starke guests for Josh Bates at reserve with Bates serving a mandatory nine-day concussion absence.
ON THE ROAD…
Peterborough ride in red and black kevlars and race at the East of England Arena & Events Centre. The track measures at 336 metres with the track record belonging to Danny King who set a time of 57.3 in June of 2019. An adult ticket costs £18, concessions £16, juniors (aged 16-17) £10, children (under 16) free. 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.
AROUND THE TRACKS…
King’s Lynn beat Belle Vue 54-36 at the Adrian Flux Arena whilst Poole won 46-44 away at Wolves last Monday.
Poole beat Belle Vue 37-35 in an abandoned meeting last Thursday, but the result still stands.
Swindon confirmed their place in the Supporters Cup final with a 58-32 win over King’s Lynn.