By Henry Chard
All the details ahead of the fifth round of the Premiership Pairs.
WHEN & WHERE
The ‘Tru Mix’ Witches pairing travels to Sheffield for the fifth round of the Premiership Pairs at Owlerton Stadium on Thursday 18th August which starts at 7.30pm.
IPSWICH: Paul Starke, Danny King, Danyon Hume (RS). Team Manager: Ritchie Hawkins
KING’S LYNN: Nicolai Klindt, Richard Lawson, Jason Edwards (RS). Team Manager: Alex Brady
PETERBOROUGH: Chris Harris, Hans Andersen, Jordan Jenkins (RS). Team Manager: Rob Lyon
SHEFFIELD: Jack Holder, Kyle Howarth, Connor Mountain (RS). Team Manager: Simon Stead
WOLVES: Ryan Douglas, Nick Morris, Leon Flint (RS). Team Manager: Peter Adams
REFEREE: P. Griffin
PREMIERSHIP PAIRS TABLE
Tickets are available on the gate. The meeting will also be streamed online here. A BSN+ subscription is required to watch. Each round can be purchased individually, priced at £12.99. BSN’s web URL is watch.britishspeedway.co.uk. BSN also has an App which is now available on Amazon Fire TV and on all IOS (Apple) devices.
The ‘Tru Mix’ Witches pairing heads to Sheffield on Thursday for the fifth round of the Premiership Pairs. Ipswich lead the competition having won the last three rounds at Ipswich, King’s Lynn and Wolverhampton. The lead is a healthy one with second place King’s Lynn 12 points behind, but the Stars, Sheffield and Belle Vue can all still catch the Witches with a strong showing at Owlerton as they look to close the gap at the top before the sixth round at the National Speedway Stadium. Wolverhampton and Peterborough are both out of contention.
Team manager Ritchie Hawkins is without the injured Jason Doyle for this round with Paul Starke replacing him whilst Danny King comes in for Troy Batchelor with Danyon Hume as the ‘Rising Star’. Doyle has been sublime everywhere he has gone in British speedway this season and has been ever-present in this competition until now racking up the points. However, after three crashes at last weekend’s British Grand Prix, the number one suffered rib and shoulder injuries and is not fit to ride.
The qualifying criteria for the competition as listed on the SCB website states that ‘two riders from the top four by MA (match average) from the green sheets of the month prior to the event will determine the pair for each team.’ With Doyle injured, it leaves Hawkins with just three riders to pick from for this event and he has opted for Starke over Batchelor who struggled on his last visit to Owlerton.
King partnered Doyle to victory in Round 3 at King’s Lynn and is back in the side for the trip to Sheffield. The skipper rode for Sheffield in the Championship in 2019 whilst Hume was also a Tiger in 2021 and is guaranteed at least one ride as part of the regulations.
HOW IT WORKS
The competition is a new addition to the calendar for 2022 with all six Premiership clubs staging a round throughout the season. Each club will have two riders and a ‘Rising Star’ at each round with scores accumulated over all six rounds before the overall aggregate winner is declared after the final round of the competition at Belle Vue in September. 12 points will be awarded to each round winner, eight points to second, six points to third, four points to fourth, two points to fifth and no points to sixth.
There will be 15 qualifying heats of action at each round with the top scoring team from the qualifying heats going directly to the final. The teams placed in second and third will compete in a semi-final with the winning side from that race progressing to the final to decide the round winners. Each team has five qualifying heats each and the ‘Rising Star’ must take at least one ride during the meeting. The points scoring system for the competition in each race will be 4-3-2-0.
FROM THE BOSS
Ipswich ‘Tru Mix’ Witches team manager Ritchie Hawkins gives us his pre-match thoughts…
“We are in pole position at the moment, and we are looking for another strong round at Sheffield to keep us in that very strong position going into Belle Vue. If we can seal it at Sheffield on Thursday with a win, then even better but we need to make sure we put in another solid performance and two solid performances in the next two rounds would be enough. We are in a strong position, but we are certainly not there yet.
“Doyley had three crashes on Saturday, so we were waiting on his fitness and to see how he gets on in the next few days. He is currently the best rider in the league, so he is a big miss, but we are coming up to the crunch part of the season and we need him to be fully fit for that, so we have to consider that. Danny goes very well at Sheffield and with those two we felt we would have had as strong a pairing as anyone.
“Starkey comes in for Doyley who is not fit enough. With Danny and Danyon already there we only have two eligible riders left to do it and Paul is a stronger option than Batch at Sheffield.”
Hosts Sheffield have Grand Prix rider Jack Holder in their side and with Adam Ellis injured have decided field captain Kyle Howarth for his first appearance in the competition. King’s Lynn have been allowed to select recent new signing Nicolai Klindt who is partnered by Richard Lawson. Belle Vue have chosen skipper Brady Kurtz and have brought in Charles Wright for his debut in the competition. Peterborough have ever-present Chris Harris in their pair with Hans Andersen back in alongside him. Wolves are missing the injured Sam Masters so go with Australian duo Nick Morris and Ryan Douglas who have both appeared in the Pairs this season.
An adult ticket costs £19, concessions £17, children (12-16) £6, children (under 12) £1 and children (under 5) go free. Official programmes cost £3. All the stadium is open except the back straight which remains closed for safety reasons. There is seating in the Panorama Room, which also boasts a restaurant and bar overlooking the track. There is a fast-food bar, and the Panorama Room Restaurant also offers a ‘Speedway Special’ carvery with a choice of meats. The Panorama Room Restaurant has large bar with ideal viewing facilities in addition to the carvery. Reserve your table now by calling Owlerton Stadium on 01142 343074. For travel information head here.
For more information about the club head to Sheffield’s official website.
Digital Media Manager at Ipswich Speedway