By Henry Chard
WHEN AND WHERE…
The ‘Tru Plant’ Witches travel to Dorset to face the Poole Pirates at Wimborne Road on Thursday 9th May in a Premiership Supporters Cup clash that starts at 7.30pm.
POOLE: 1. Jack Holder 7.43 2. Richie Worrall 5.65 3. Nicolai Klindt 6.74 4. Josh Grajczonek 6.73 © 5. Scott Nicholls (g) 6.87 6. Nico Covatti 4.53 7. Nicolaj Busk Jakobsen 4.39 Team Manager: Neil Middleditch
IPSWICH: 1.Chris Harris 7.82 2. Richard Lawson 6.93 3. David Bellego 6.14 4. Krystian Pieszczek 6.50 5. Danny King 6.38 © 6. Cameron Heeps 4.84 7. Jake Allen 4.67. Team Manager: Ritchie Hawkins
REFEREE: P. Carrington
VENUE: Wimborne Road
SOUTHERN GROUP SUPPORTERS CUP TABLE…
WHAT’S THE STORY?
The ‘Tru Plant’ Witches face the Poole Pirates in their final away meeting of the Premiership Supporters Cup group in what is a must-win clash for both sides. The Swindon Robins have taken control of the group having impressed on the road and the Witches have to win to keep them in the hunt to progress to the final. A win by seven points or more would give the Witches four points and would put them well in contention with one match to race. Ipswich have been impressive on home shale so far in the competition, winning both meetings but have lost twice on their travels without picking up a point.
The Suffolk side go into the meeting off the back of a win over local rivals King’s Lynn in the league at Foxhall on Monday. Richard Lawson and David Bellego were the top men for the Witches that day and the pair will be hoping they can kick-start their seasons on the road now, starting on Thursday. Ritchie Hawkins has tweaked the riding order once more as he experiments with different pairings as Danny King is back at number five, with Bellego moving to number three and Krystian Pieszczek at number four.
FROM THE MANAGER…
‘Tru Plant’ Witches team manager Ritchie Hawkins looks ahead to Thursday’s clash…
“Mathematically we are going to have to get a four-point win so that is what we are going there looking to do. If we all click as a team it is something we are capable of. It is a big ask though.
“I don’t look at teams and their results really, but our team have shown enough already this year what we are capable of doing. We have just got to go and do our best on the night.
“We are changing it around again and we want to try and few different pairings in the cup, ready for the league. It is a good chance to see some different pairings.”
Poole are the most successful side in the modern era with eight top flight titles since 2003. Add to that five Knockout Cup trophies and you can see why they are often the team to beat at the start of the season. The Pirates won the 2018 Premiership and have started their league campaign strongly but find themselves bottom of the Supporters Cup group this season. They started promisingly with a draw at Swindon but were then thumped by the Robins on home shale to leave them in a precarious position. With four meetings still to race they can still top the group and they will know they need to win their home meetings from here on in.
They are led by the talented Australian Jack Holder but compatriot Brady Kurtz will be missing after a crash in Sweden on Tuesday. Wolves’ Scott Nicholls guests in his place. There is a familiar face to Witches fans at reserve in Nico Covatti. Covatti spent the last four seasons at Foxhall and became a favourite on the terraces for his entertaining style.
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…
There were three Premiership league meetings on Bank Holiday Monday. Ipswich beat King’s Lynn 48-42 in the East Anglian derby at Foxhall on Monday. Poole drew 45-45 at Belle Vue to put them top of the table after a strong start to the campaign. Swindon narrowly beat Peterborough 46-44 at the Abbey.
Digital Media Manager at Ipswich Speedway