By David Rowe
All the details ahead of our League Cup fixture with King’s Lynn.
WHEN & WHERE
The ‘Tru Mix’ Witches travel to Norfolk to face the King’s Lynn Stars at the Adrian Flux Arena on Thursday 7th April in a League Cup fixture that starts at 7.30pm.
KING’S LYNN: 1. Niels-Kristian Iversen 7.54 2. Thomas Jorgensen 5.89 3. Josh Pickering 7.38 © 4. Lewis Kerr 5.55 5. Richard Lawson 7.19 6. Richie Worrall 5.37 7. Jack Thomas (RS) Team Manager: Alex Brady
IPSWICH: 1. Jason Doyle 8.96 2. Erik Riss 5.08 3. Troy Batchelor 5.67 4. Cameron Heeps 4.96 5. Danny King 7.96 © 6. Paul Starke 4.58 7. Anders Rowe (RS). Team Manager: Ritchie Hawkins
REFEREE: A. Steele
GROUP B TABLE
Tickets can be purchased online here and are available on the gate.
The ‘Tru Mix’ Witches cross the border on Thursday night to face East Anglian rivals King’s Lynn in Norfolk in the League Cup. The two sides had been due to meet last week at Foxhall, only for the meeting to fall victim to snow. It has been re-arranged for Thursday April 28.
This is therefore the Stars’ first meeting of the season, whilst for the Witches it is their second and final away match in the Southern group. Having been defeated at Peterborough on Monday, it’s the last chance to pick up points on the road which could be all-important in determining the outcome of the three-team section. A reminder that only the group winners qualify for the League Cup Final.
Team manager Ritchie Hawkins has switched his middle-order following the opening fixture, with former Stars rider Erik Riss moving to No.2 to partner Jason Doyle. He exchanges places with Cameron Heeps, who himself had a short spell with Lynn last season, with the Australian now at No.4 where he teams up with Troy Batchelor.
The Witches won on both of their Premiership visits to the Adrian Flux Arena in 2021 and will be chasing a similar outcome on Thursday.
FROM THE BOSS
Ipswich ‘Tru Mix’ Witches team manager Ritchie Hawkins gives us his pre-match thoughts…
“Looking at the group, I’d say we probably need to win at King’s Lynn now, and then win our two home meetings. I’ve always thought you’ll need to win three out of four to win the group.
“I think we saw enough at Peterborough on Monday to know that we’ll be capable of going to King’s Lynn and winning, and that will be focus for all the boys.
“Erik Riss is a very good rider and I’d expect him to go well at Lynn. It won’t be from our part, but I just hope he doesn’t put too much pressure or expectation on himself, and I think if he goes and rides like he did on Monday, he’ll be superb. You’d also expect a few of the other boys to maybe do better now they’ve got a meeting all together under their belt.
“We’ve moved Erik to No.2 with Cam at No.4, we’ve just swapped them around and we want to try a few things. I think it will be nice for Erik to go out in Heat 1 on an inside gate instead of an outside gate which he’s used to! You never know what’s going to happen and I do feel confident in the team in whatever order we’re in, but we’ll see who rides good together.”
King’s Lynn were always likely to make wholesale changes after finishing bottom of the Premiership with just two wins in 2021, and this will be their first outing in front of their home fans.
The Stars made some ambitious moves over the winter, including handing Peter Kildemand a return to UK racing, only for the Dane to pick up an injury in Poland and be ruled out for the early weeks of the season. However, they have signed a popular replacement as stand-in, with Stars favourite Niels-Kristian Iversen – who had a spell with the Witches in 2019 – coming in to cover for Kildemand.
Exciting Australian Josh Pickering has been installed as the new skipper after surprisingly leaving Sheffield over the winter, and the Stars have made what appears to be a very astute signing in Richie Worrall, who could be one of the league’s most powerful reserves.
Richard Lawson, Thomas Jorgensen and Lewis Kerr all return from 2021, whilst the Rising Star berth is filled by Jack Thomas.
An adult ticket costs £20, concessions (over 65) and students £18 and children (ages 12-17) £5. Official programmes cost £3. Facilities include free floodlit parking, seated grandstand (£2 extra charge), covered standing grandstand, restaurant, fully stocked bar and function room, four licenced bar outlets, merchandise stands, toilets and a first aid room. For travel information head here.
For more information about the club head to King’s Lynn’s official website.