By Henry Chard
WHEN AND WHERE…
The ‘Tru Plant’ Witches face the Poole Pirates at Wimborne Road on Thursday 18th July in a Premiership fixture that starts at 7.30pm.
POOLE: 1. R/R for Brady Kurtz 7.57 2. Ben Barker (g) 5.26 3. Nicolai Klindt 7.47 4. Josh Grajczonek 6.49 © 5. Jack Holder 7.43 6. Nico Covatti 4.93 7. Ricky Wells 4.24. Team Manager: Neil Middleditch
IPSWICH: 1. Scott Nicholls (g) 6.95 2. Cameron Heeps 6.00 3. Danny King 6.51 © 4. Richard Lawson 6.89 5. Krystian Pieszczek 5.71 6. Edward Kennett 5.71 7. Jake Allen 5.43. Team Manager: Ritchie Hawkins
REFEREE: J. McGregor
VENUE: Wimborne Road
WHAT’S THE STORY?
The ‘Tru Plant’ Witches are on their travels again as they finish their week with a trip to Dorset to face the Poole Pirates. Ipswich were at Wolves on Monday where they picked up two more valuable points after a 45-45 draw and they go to Wimborne Road looking to add to their tally further. The two sides met last Thursday at Foxhall as a patched-up Pirates side shocked the Witches, pulling off a 48-42 win that ended the home team’s 100% home record too. The Suffolk side bounced back from that defeat well on Monday and will be keen to show their best form against the Pirates this time around.
The Witches took the Pirates to a last-heat decider in the Supporters Cup back in May, but they couldn’t hold onto their lead as they were defeated 46-44. The Witches will be without their hero from Monday night at Wolves as Chris Harris makes his way to Russia to represent Great Britain in the Speedway of Nations Finals this weekend. It is a blow to the Suffolk side with Harris knowing Wimborne Road well from his time there last season and he scored 9+2 there earlier this year. Scott Nicholls will guest at number one. Richard Lawson impressed in that Supporters Cup defeat scoring 11+2 and he will be keen to carry on from where he left off on Monday after he scored 11+1 that included that crucial last-heat win. Two of the top teams in England meet again with both sides able to go top of the table on Thursday night and it has all the ingredients to be another close battle.
FROM THE MANAGER…
‘Tru Plant’ Witches team manager Ritchie Hawkins looks ahead to Thursday’s clash…
“A home defeat is never a good thing, but it did not dent our confidence because we have had so many good meetings and we go into this one off the back of another good result on Monday. We need to perform like we did on Monday and like we have done for 90% of the season to be fair. We go to Poole, looking to carry on from Monday and if we do we have a chance of a result.
“We did very well there earlier this year but that was led by Bomber who we are without on Thursday. We have brought Scotty in and Poole is somewhere you would expect him to go well at and it is a track he is good at. It is always nice to have him in our colours. We have got to go there looking to win.
“We want Team GB to do well on Saturday and Bomber can play a part in that. He is in good form and if he has a good one then that will be a boost for him for the rest of the season.
“If we could get a win that would compensate for last week’s defeat but on Thursday we have got to forget about that. It is just another meeting and we will go and look to achieve a result like we are doing every meeting.”
Like every other season it seems, Poole are looking good for the play-offs at this stage of the year. Speedway’s most successful club of the modern era always seem to find the right formula to build winning sides and this year is no different despite a huge injury crisis. The patched-up Pirates have been defying the odds again so far despite being without the likes of Brady Kurtz, Richie Worrall, Nico Covatti and Nikolaj Busk Jakobsen due to injury in recent weeks. That didn’t bother them last week at Foxhall as they shocked everyone by winning and if they can back that up with a win on home shale they will return to the top of the table.
There is good and bad news on the injury front for Poole. Number one Brady Kurtz remains out injured and rider replacement will be used at number one. However, Nico Covatti returns from injury at reserve against his former club. There is another former Witch in the Poole side as Ben Barker guests at number two for long-term injury absentee Richie Worrall. The club have moved to sign Ricky Wells in place of Nikolaj Busk Jakobsen and Thursday will be his full debut having guested for the club in previous weeks.
ON THE ROAD…
Poole ride in blue, white and black race jackets and race at Wimborne Road. The track measures at 299.1 metres with the track record belonging to Antonio Lindback who set a time of 56.91 in June of 2006. An adult ticket costs £18, concessions and seniors £15, students £12, youths (aged 11-15) £7, children (aged 5-10) £4 and children under the age of 5 go free. For travel information head here.
For more information about the club head to Poole’s official website.
AROUND THE TRACKS…
On Monday, Belle Vue went top of the Premiership after beating Peterborough 50-40 away from home whilst Ipswich drew 45-45 away at Wolverhampton.
Digital Media Manager at Ipswich Speedway