By Henry Chard
All the details ahead of our League Cup fixture with King’s Lynn.
WHEN & WHERE
The ‘Tru Mix’ Witches host the King’s Lynn Stars at Foxhall Stadium on Thursday 31st March in a League Cup fixture that starts at 7.30pm.
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IPSWICH: 1. Jason Doyle 8.96 2. Erik Riss 5.08 3. Cameron Heeps 4.96 4. Troy Batchelor 5.67 5. Danny King 7.96 © 6. Paul Starke 4.58 7. Anders Rowe (RS) 8. Danyon Hume 3.00. Team Manager: Ritchie Hawkins
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
JUNIOR CHALLENGE TEAMS
IPSWICH RESERVES: 1. Danyon Hume 2. Josh Warren 3. Alex Spooner 4. Jacob Clouting. Team Manager: Ritchie Hawkins
FEN TIGERS SELECT: 1. Jason Edwards 2. Sam Bebee 3. Sam Hagon 4. Will Richardson. Team Manager: Greg Palmer
REFEREE: P. Carrington
GROUP B TABLE
Tickets are available to buy online (until 7pm on raceday) and on the gate and are priced at £20 for adults and £18 for concessions (65+). Children 16 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. Turnstiles open at 6.40pm.
The ‘Tru Mix’ Witches get their 2022 campaign underway with a local derby against East Anglian rivals King’s Lynn in the League Cup on Thursday night. The season begins with an early opportunity for silverware in the League Cup with Ipswich drawn in Group B alongside the Stars and the Peterborough Panthers. The teams will face each other home and away in the group stage with the winner of the group progressing to the final to face the winner of Group A. The short format means there is no margin for error with Ritchie Hawkins’ side needing to hit the ground running on home shale.
Ipswich have made four changes to the side that ended the 2021 season and made one of the biggest signings in British Speedway this winter as they secured the signature of Grand Prix rider and former world champion Jason Doyle. The Australian leads the side at number one and will make his much-anticipated debut on Thursday. Also making his debut for the club is Erik Riss, who has always enjoyed his visits to Foxhall as an away rider and he will ride at number two alongside Doyle. Troy Batchelor returns to Foxhall having had a spell with the club back in 2009 and he will be hoping to recapture his best form riding at number four. Club asset Cameron Heeps returns for his ninth season in Suffolk and will be looking to put an injury-hit 2021 behind him back at a place he knows so well. The team is completed by three familiar faces from last season’s side with skipper Danny King back for his thirteenth year at Foxhall. Paul Starke impressed the management enough to earn a place in the side at reserve where he will be joined by Anders Rowe who is the team’s ‘rising star’ rider this season. Club asset Danyon Hume also returns as the side’s number eight rider.
The League Cup fixture will be followed by a six-heat junior match between the Ipswich Reserves and a Mildenhall select team.
FROM THE BOSS
Ipswich ‘Tru Mix’ Witches team manager Ritchie Hawkins gives us his pre-match thoughts…
“It’s opening night, and everyone is really excited and raring to get going now. We couldn’t have asked for a bigger meeting on opening night to be racing King’s Lynn, our local rivals and a team we are firmly focused on beating. Yes, it’s opening night and opening night nerves can come into play, but we are an experienced, professional team and that shouldn’t be happening. We want to make a good start to the season and a good start to the cup competition. Everyone is excited for the new season now; it has been a long winter, and everyone is excited about our side we have put together. So, a win to start the season off is what we are after, and we will go from there.
“There are only four meetings in the group stage, and you certainly need to be going into it, looking to win four meetings and it might be a case of the team that wins three out of four progresses, so we need to win our home meetings first.
“We look very strong whichever way we set up, as I have always done, I will change the order around and experiment and that won’t change this year unless we find something that we settle on that we think is definitely the best set up. That is something I think has worked well in the past and is something I believe we an do this year. When I look at how we are starting this year, we look very strong and let’s start this meeting off well.”
King’s Lynn will be looking to put what can only be described as a dismal 2021 campaign behind them as they start 2022 will fresh hope and optimism. The Stars finished bottom of the Premiership last year and have made four changes to the side. Former Grand Prix rider and former Witch Niels-Kristian Iversen is at number one deputising for the injured Peter Kildemand. Also freshening up the side are newly appointed club captain Josh Pickering, ‘rising star’ Jack Thomas and former Witch Richie Worrall.
It’s a side packed with former Witches as Lewis Kerr and Richard Lawson also make a return to a track they know well and often go well at and Thomas Jorgensen completes the side. Both meetings at Foxhall last season went to the wire with the Norfolk outfit taking the hosts to a last-heat decider on both occasions, winning one and losing the other and they will hoping to take advantage of any rustiness on opening night to pick up some valuable away points in the local derby.
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